Today we caught wind of something coming out of stealth mode called the Zennet initiative, a “public, distributed, and decentralized Supercomputer.” As the brainchild of Israeli computer scientist Ohad Asor, Zennet is essentially a free-market alternative to AWS that sounds a lot like the marriage of BitCoin and SETI@Home.
Zennet is here to power this expansion with everyone’s computational resources around the globe. Its most significant impacts on this market are drastically reducing costs and bringing new magnitudes of speed to HPC consumers. Computation power is traded on Zennet’s open market platform. Anyone can rent computation power and use it to run arbitrary tasks. Anyone can monetize their hardware by offering unused computation power for sale. Zennet allows Publishers who need computation power to run arbitrary computational tasks. Computation power is supplied by Providers for a negotiated fee. A free-market infrastructure brings Publishers and Providers together. Publishers can hire many computers and run whatever they want on them safely, thanks to cutting-edge virtualization technology. Payment is continuous and frictionless, thanks to Blockchain technology, among other technologies that shall be discussed later on.
The system’s building blocks consist of new-generation virtualization technologies (e.g. docker), benchmarking technologies (e.g. phoronix-test-suite), an improved Blockchain technology, and a novel protocol. Zennet includes the following software components:
- A Linux distribution (Zennet-os), to be installed on either bare metal or in a Hypervisor (such as VirtualBox or Qemu), with Xennet code to manage Docker containers and collect measurements.
- A client software (zennetd and zennet-qt) that configures and manages the Zennet-vm according to the preferences of publishers and providers.
- A blockchain (zencoind and zencoin-qt), implementing ZenCoin as a cryptocurrency, being used as tokens to use computing machines.
At insideHPC, we’ll continue to track this project as more details become available. In the meantime, the zennet project is currently hiring developers. Skilled applicants who feel passion for the Zennet project may send their CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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