IBM has thrown its weight behind the 'next-generation internet' after signing up with Oxford University to build part of a network grid linking computer systems throughout the UK and the rest of the world.
Although the system sounds much like the original internet, the grid would offer enough distributed computing power on tap to allow participants in the project to process large amounts of data that might ordinarily swamp the regular internet.
As part of its agreement with Oxford, Big Blue will build a data storage farm connecting up to nine other centres based around the UK, including locations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
The Oxford centre will also host data for a high-energy physics research project run in conjunction with the US Particle Physics Laboratory in Chicago.
Irving Wladawsky-Berger, vice president of technology and strategy at IBM, explained that the grid would create a common platform offering processing power on tap, much like the peer-to-peer and distributed computing networks of Napster and [email protected] But unlike the internet, the centres would have more control over who can use what and access where.
"Now it's possible to start moving to the next stage, and that's being able to share computing capacity, storage capacity and applications over the internet," he said.
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