General Information about Storage@home

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The Folding@Home project has been taken to an unprecedented scale. This is the first - and largest - distributed computing project in the world, in terms of raw power. On our side, we the contributors/clients have a small portion of our drive on which to store data files for the project (no more than the current WU and any pending work items), and at Stanford there is the other. Each WU and result file is carefully preserved. The results for a given project are then combined to create the videos of proteins that have been released by the project.

All of this data is kept in storage servers at Stanford. The terabytes are countless; people speak of more than 400TB of valuable scientific data. However, such storage is very expensive, and the power of the projects equipment is increasing, and the PS3 and the GPU has only increased this need for storage space.

The principle of Storage@Home is simple; data derived from the WUs of Folding clients are sent to your PC. When a server needs to access data that you are mirroring, your computer is accessed and the data uploaded.

However, this system requires some forward planning. First, redundant data must be stored on multiple clients, as it would be disastrous to lose simulation data if John Smith had a hard drive crash. Redundancy also allows load balancing, which enables better data availability for servers. The use of encryption, signature data, and a digital fingerprint ensures that the content has not been modified or damaged, and that the sender is authorised by Stanford.