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  1. #1

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    Able to sell CPU cycles similar to distributed computing?

    Today at uni we were studying cloud computing (i hate the buzz word) we were discussing the ability to hire processing power as you needed.

    a few of us thought that if you can "hire" cpu cycles as you need them , it may be possible to "sell" them , are their any cloud providers that let people install their daemon on the machine to be come part of their cloud, and pay you for every amount of data your pc processes, similar to folding at home points, but somthing I could spend.

    i know this isnt a new idea (nor is cloud computing) but if i can make a bit of cash out of it, then all the better
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by markp1989 View Post
    Today at uni we were studying cloud computing (i hate the buzz word) we were discussing the ability to hire processing power as you needed.

    a few of us thought that if you can "hire" cpu cycles as you need them , it may be possible to "sell" them , are their any cloud providers that let people install their daemon on the machine to be come part of their cloud, and pay you for every amount of data your pc processes, similar to folding at home points, but somthing I could spend.

    i know this isnt a new idea (nor is cloud computing) but if i can make a bit of cash out of it, then all the better
    I think the problem you encounter is that personally owned computers are rather insignificant, at least until you combined them (as like for the Folding or SETI kinds of distributed computing).

    From my perspective, for example, I can use grant money to pay for computing time from my university's supercomputer (or a connected university's). From a financial standpoint, you want to entice big-money people to pay, but if it's big money people paying, then there's no reason why they would want to use your shoddy desktop. In my case, if I only needed a desktop, then I can easily SSH into 10-20 desktops at my workplace.

    The only people I'd imagine you'd interest are people who aren't that concerned with computing power, but would need it every once in a while (think: the uncle who has a hobby making home videos and needs a better computer). Ultimately, the $2000 or whatever you paid for your desktop is small peas for anybody who would be willing to pay for cycles.
    Last edited by Mother Goose; 01-21-11 at 03:04 PM.

  3. #3
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    I agree with Mother Goose. On top of that, you would have to overcome the cost of electricity to make it profitable. With two active PC's, my power costs increase 20 to 40 dollars a month. I have a hard time believing any income from renting computer cycles would overcome the cost of power.
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  4. #4
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    Another issue with this that hasn't been mention is security of the data. If you sell cpu cycles to a service provider, someone else has their confidential data being processed by your computer. Data can be encrypted when it is sent to your computer and it can be encrypted when it is stored, but current computers don't have enough power to perform encrypted processing (data remains encrypted while your cpu works on it). Without that, I'd be unwilling to put my data on an unknown person's computer.
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  5. #5
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    I mean; let's get away from this cloud computing buzzword BS.

    Botnets have been sold for -years-, look at storm for perhaps the best recent example. Distributed computing is without a doubt a significant resource; and it's always been tradition for people who owned supercomputers and clusters to rent out timeshares on the hardware, since having the machine up and not chugging costs $$$$ (this has been true all the way back from the old days of mainframes and time-shared-computing systems, wheeee oldschool; can someone say "punchcards?")
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    this isnt going to work one way or another untill the states fiigure out their infrastructure problems, capped speeds, high prices, limited to X gigs a month. not to mension poor line quality through out most of the country.

    it'll affect the rest of the world too since there are some major pipes for tans pacific and antlantic communications
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  7. #7
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    Niku: It's working more than you think. Overlay networks are solving the problems of the line quality; although I do agree that we are sadly behind the rest of the world in terms of tech infrastructure.
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  8. #8

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    I can see the problems with it, but they are all present in distributed computing projects, im sure Stanford could afford a massive main frame rather tne getting people to give cpu time.

    I know that they wont pay much for 1 cpu running, but i was thinking for things that are already on, like servers that could hire out the cpu cycles, even if it only gets a few quid a month, its still something.

    I can see the issue with data needing to be encrypted, for privacy reasons, not sure how they would get around that, maybe having the client released as a virtual pc image with 2 users, one where you can change the settings for it, ram usage etc, and one where the processing is done that we cannot access.

    I see people like stfu who have massive folding farms, would be cool if they could "hire" out the processing power, most of the time, but when there isnt enough work to utilize the system have folding use the rest.

    I agree with most people about "the cloud" being an annoying buzz word.
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  9. #9
    Member BenF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markp1989 View Post
    I can see the problems with it, but they are all present in distributed computing projects, im sure Stanford could afford a massive main frame rather tne getting people to give cpu time.

    I know that they wont pay much for 1 cpu running, but i was thinking for things that are already on, like servers that could hire out the cpu cycles, even if it only gets a few quid a month, its still something.

    I can see the issue with data needing to be encrypted, for privacy reasons, not sure how they would get around that, maybe having the client released as a virtual pc image with 2 users, one where you can change the settings for it, ram usage etc, and one where the processing is done that we cannot access.

    I see people like stfu who have massive folding farms, would be cool if they could "hire" out the processing power, most of the time, but when there isnt enough work to utilize the system have folding use the rest.

    I agree with most people about "the cloud" being an annoying buzz word.
    Stanford uses distributed computer because it is impossible to get the same amount of computing power out of supercomputers. Large distributed computing grids (such as FAH) are more power than any supercomputer you can buy, by a very significant amount.

    Even with virtual machines, you still have a problem with security. I don't know enough about the technical details but if you have direct access to the hardware it should be possible to record every bit of data being stored and processed. If you can figure that problem out, you will become a billionaire (or have the idea stolen and watch someone make your billions).
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  10. #10
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    I was researching this and it seems Bitcoin allows you to mine for coins, however graphics cards are the fastest way to do this.

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