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Volunteer Down: How COVID-19 Created the Largest Idling Supercomputer on Earth

Department for Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Lübeck University of Applied Sciences, 23562 Lübeck, Germany
Future Internet 2020, 12(6), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi12060098
Received: 25 May 2020 / Revised: 2 June 2020 / Accepted: 3 June 2020 / Published: 6 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud-Native Applications and Services)
From close to scratch, the COVID-19 pandemic created the largest volunteer supercomputer on earth. Sadly, processing resources assigned to the corresponding [email protected] project cannot be shared with other volunteer computing projects efficiently. Consequently, the largest supercomputer had significant idle times. This perspective paper investigates how the resource sharing of future volunteer computing projects could be improved. Notably, efficient resource sharing has been optimized throughout the last ten years in cloud computing. Therefore, this perspective paper reviews the current state of volunteer and cloud computing to analyze what both domains could learn from each other. It turns out that the disclosed resource sharing shortcomings of volunteer computing could be addressed by technologies that have been invented, optimized, and adapted for entirely different purposes by cloud-native companies like Uber, Airbnb, Google, or Facebook. Promising technologies might be containers, serverless architectures, image registries, distributed service registries, and all have one thing in common: They already exist and are all tried and tested in large web-scale deployments. View Full-Text
Keywords: volunteer computing; cloud computing; grid computing; HPC; supercomputing; microservice; nanoservice; container; cloud-native; serverless; platform; lessons-learned; COVID-19 volunteer computing; cloud computing; grid computing; HPC; supercomputing; microservice; nanoservice; container; cloud-native; serverless; platform; lessons-learned; COVID-19
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Kratzke, N. Volunteer Down: How COVID-19 Created the Largest Idling Supercomputer on Earth. Future Internet 2020, 12, 98.

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