The Grid – Faster Than Internet!

There is a danger of the internet going obsolete soon. That sounds bad but if you hear of the alternative, you will be thrilled.

That option could be “the grid.” The grid is expected to be “lightning” fast. How long does it take to download a feature film now? An hour? Two hours? Grid will be capable of doing it within seconds.

It does feel like a sci-fi movie but this is a fact and is the latest spinoff from the creator of the web, Cern, the particle physics center. They could outdo their previous creation by a million times, with the creation of the Grid, which they say comes with the power needed to transmit holographic images; allows instant online gaming with thousands of players and also offers high definition video telephony for just the price of a local call.

While the web is a service that allows sharing of information over the internet; the Grid allows sharing of data storage capacity and computer power over the internet.

The speed of the Grid is said to be 10000 times faster than the internet. Researchers give an example that proves the power of the Grid when compared to the internet. It has been used to help in designing new drugs for malaria, the fatal disease that kills approximately 1m people each year. In a search for new drugs against malaria, it came up with 140m compounds – a task that would have taken an internet-linked PC 420 years. These amazing results reveal the tremendous unimaginable power of the Grid.

David Briton, a professor of physics at Glasgow University and also a leading figure in the grid project, says, “grid technologies could revolutionize society.” He continues, “With this kind of computing power, future generations will have the ability to collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine.”

Scientists have termed the inaugural day of the grid as the “red button” day, this summer. This is the same day when the Large Hadron Collider will be switched on, which is the new particle accelerator that is built to probe the origin of the universe.
The grid computing project was started seven years ago because researchers realized that LHC (Large Hadron Collider) would be generating data annually that could be equivalent to 56m CDs. With the grid, they wish to capture data that the LHC generates.

Since the internet has been developed by linking together a medley of cables and routing equipment, most of which was originally meant for telephone calls, it does not have the capacity for transmitting high speed data. By contrast, the grid has been created after much thought and planning, to handle high data transmission, with the help of dedicated fibre optic cables and modern routing centers. This makes the grid a perfect source for passage of data.

Computers on grid will be able to transmit and receive data at lightning speed. Researchers are excited at the prospect of being able to perform all their heavy processing tasks with the help of the grid, where they can take the assistance of all those thousands of computers worldwide.

People in the know believe that there could a flip side to the grid, related to issues with hacking. The security system for such high speed downloads has to be fool-proof and perfectly designed, with no room for error.

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