Intel: contest on the technology Grid. We won!

publication date: January 20, 2009

A brief introduction. The recent years Intel corporation has been actively promoting and popularizing the development of high-performance computing systems. Since the limit of increase in CPU performance due to lessening of the technology process size and growth of clock rate is practically exhausted, at present computing hardware is being developed in the direction of multiprocessor units and multicore processors. It's known that the most part of computers, especially in home and offices, are loaded for 20 % at maximum. To prevent this standing idle we have to load all the cores of computer uniformly, that implies the development of the software specially optimized to operate in multicore and multiprocessor systems. But besides the creation of the program, being executed simultaneously on several processors of a single computing unit, another direction of increase in computing system performance exists. It is the technology Grid – a distributed computation technology, still undervalued. The contest of Intel Corporation was organized right to popularize the application of Grid in the business and in the industry.

The contest included courses:

1. Application of Grid-technology in solving business and everyday tasks. A participant determines new practical everyday tasks, which are suitable to be solved in the run-time environment of an office or a home Grid. The Grid environment applicability for these tasks has to be proved. The contest implies the detection of the best technologies, methods and techniques which can be used for moving the tasks to the Grid environment, these techniques have to be grounded. The participants are implied to use a wide range of tools, from graphic diagrams to GPE environment.

2. Application of Grid-technology in the industry and scientific research. The participant offers new nontrivial ideas about application of Grid in science, industry and other fields. It's not a secret, that the science and industry community is still skeptical about Grid environments, considering them designed only for highly tailored tasks (for example, processing the results of experiments in Large Hadron Collider or search for extraterrestrial intelligence. What unobvious and hidden tasks can be solved with use of Grid technology? Many people are interested in this question today.

The first place in the contest was reached by the combined team of master and PhD students of Volgograd State Technical University and Samara State University. Three of the team members are our colleagues. Our project, taking part in the contest, is described here in detail.