Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Swimming in terabytes

Is it possible to design an Interstore—a global storage system? It would be like adding a huge hard drive to the Internet. There is a research project at Berkeley that did just that, only it's called OceanStore:
OceanStore is a global persistent data store designed to scale to billions of users. It provides a consistent, highly-available, and durable storage utility atop an infrastructure comprised of untrusted servers.

Any computer can join the infrastructure, contributing storage or providing local user access in exchange for economic compensation.

Now we need to add a processor—or a million processors—to the Internet, and it will look like one gigantic computer. We'll want an OS too. But what should we call this global machine? "Supercomputer" would be an understatement.

9 Comments:

Anonymous amit said...

thats a brilliant idea!!
IS it up N Working?

7:55 AM  
Blogger Alambie said...

Sounds interesting, but I need to be convinced. What are its benefits - to the poor, the oppressed, the uneducated?

7:14 PM  
Blogger Jack Danger said...

it all soungs cool but wouldnt that be asking for trouble. some dude takes down the 'supercomputer' and the internet is kaput, no?

8:31 PM  
Blogger jrp said...

Alambie,

Better communication among people through computer media benefits everyone. The computer is also an essential tool in scientific research, and improved tools lead to advances in science which benefit humanity as a whole. If you consider Internet to be a step in the right direction, then evolution of the Internet is a welcome development.

8:39 PM  
Blogger jrp said...

Jack Danger,

Like the Internet, the worldwide computer will be decentralized and fault-tolerant: taking down part of it wouldn't affect other parts. There are of course risks inherent in introducing new global infrastructure, which I discuss here and here.

9:38 PM  
Blogger John Tindale said...

How about HAL, SkyNet, or Zion Mainframe?

3:07 PM  
Blogger The Third Twin said...

The way I figure it, give people access to that sort of space and power, and they'll find ways to waste and abuse it. People on the web are clever like that.

5:24 PM  
Blogger R2K said...

I would love to rent some of my storage to such a system, say perhaps 1 cent per TB per day?

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google's on it.

9:26 AM  

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