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Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005

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`Grid computing offers much for common man'

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Jan. 3

IN about four years, personal computers, mobile phones and several other electronic items could actually be free, with people having to pay only for services, according to Dr Raj Kumar Buyya.

Such a scenario would be possible thanks to the awesome power of computing, said the Director of Grid Computing and Distributed Systems (GRIDS) Laboratory, University of Melbourne.

At a workshop on `Ubiquitous and Grid Computing,' organised by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Dr Buyya said just like water, power, gas and telephones, IT too has been added to this list ofessentials for a home in scores of countries.

Referring to the initiatives in several governments, including China and India, and research drives by corporations such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft, grid computing that harnesses the power of computers will make life much more comfortable.

Areas such as e-governance, healthcare and telemedicine are among a few broad areas where grid computing can be used. `Virtual surgeries' could be possible in the next few years, where a human model in a digital form can be simulated and experiences applied in the real life situation, Dr Buyya said.

The Director of Anurag, DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation, Dr K.D. Nayak, said Indian technologists have made remarkable progress in supercomputers using grid technologies forced by a situation where the US refused to part with Cray computers. Highlighting some of the major projects initiated in India, Dr Nayak said the Centre for High Computing and Research (Chitra) is at advanced stage of testing a network of grid computers that have been indigenously developed. Issues such as scalability have also been addressed. But while it is proven that the Indian can do it, Indians in India are yet to harness the potential in them for applications in the country.

Citing the case of China, Dr Nayak said the Chinese government has embarked on a major project that has developed processors for its own applications. Over the next four years, China plans to invest about $4 billion and replace all the existing systems with processors developed indigenously. India needs to emulate them.

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