Getting More Out Of

By John McCormick  |  Posted 2002-11-01 Email Print this article Print

Project managers at Bristol-Myers Squibb think they can aggregate the processing power of thousands of under-utilized PCs—and save the drugmaker millions in the process.


Getting More Out Of Computers

Computing tasks can be performed by any number of processing schemes, some of which fall under the loose heading of grid computing.

Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP)
A server computing system where two or more processors are managed by a single operating system. The processors share the same memory and input/output mechanisms.

Massively Parallel Processing (MPP)
A server computing system where a hundred or more processors work on different parts of a task. Each processor has its own operating system and memory.

Grid Computing
A scheme to take advantage of underused processors on corporate desktop and laptop computers. Tasks are broken down and assigned to individual processors by a master scheduler, much like MPP.

Utility Computing
Also known as a hosted grid. A company activates and deactivates resources as needed from a large information-systems facility. The customer is charged for the services it uses. It's a modern version of computer time-sharing.

Sources: Giga Information Group, Aberdeen Group


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