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FP6

NEXTGRID — Result In Brief

Project ID: 511563
Funded under: FP6-IST

Harnessing unused computing power

Grid computing - or the harnessing of unused power from computers in a network - is as yet an underused application in business. An international consortium aimed to close this gap and show the economic possibilities of 'tomorrow's internet'.
Harnessing unused computing power
Currently, the benefits of grid computing have largely been confined to academic institutions. The Nextgrid project looked to define the architecture and middleware (connecting software components or applications) for next-generation grid computing that would be available for mainstream use.

Nextgrid's aim was to make grid computing as open as the internet is today and to expand it into commercial, public sector and scientific applications. It designed and studied innovative solutions to challenges involving business models, service-level agreements, adaptive workflow enactment, intrusion detection, and resource brokering, among others.

To succeed, Nextgrid knew it had to make grid computing economically viable and secure. This meant making development and maintenance easy, as well as providing for security and privacy so businesses, consumers and the public are more confident in using it.

The consortium was made up of hardware and software providers, service and infrastructure providers and research organisations and academia - all potential end-users.

The project has tested its grids in the financial, multimedia and supply chain management sectors to ensure its viability. Nextgrid aimed to show it can be used in all sectors as a useful application, transforming it from a key technology for scientists to a vital tool to support business interaction and collaboration.

The project, which cost around EUR 16 million, started in 2004 and ended in 2007. As a pioneer in the sector, the specifications developed in Nextgrid will have a significant influence on the evolution of future standards, according to project coordinators, The University of Edinburgh, in Scotland.

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