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Brainstorming a Net-powered supercomputer

World experts are meeting in Australia to brainstorm the next step in the evolution of the Internet: linking computers via the Net to provide supercomputer capacity.

BRISBANE, Australia--World experts are meeting here to brainstorm the next step in the evolution of the Internet--linking computers via the Net to provide supercomputer capacity.

"Scientists are creating computer systems that will provide large-scale resource sharing via the Internet by having otherwise unrelated computer systems cooperate with one another," Queensland University of Technology computing science associate professor George Mohay said.

Experts attending the CCGrid2001 symposium from international research centers and major corporations are discussing cluster computing and the Grid.

The Grid is an infrastructure that--coupled with computers, software and databases--can provide supercomputing capacity via the Internet.

"Grid systems will allow connected computers to automatically identify the need for, and then remotely perform, complex scientific calculations in a range of research areas such as medical science, astronomy and engineering," professor Mohay said.

Part of the symposium will be to discuss security issues relating to the ability for cluster-computing systems to use idle computers without the knowledge of the computer user.

Professor Mohay says that in addition to Grid computing, scientists are developing cluster-computing systems to enable businesses to combine internal computers to create relatively cheap virtual supercomputers.

Staff writer Megan McAuliffe reported from Brisbane.