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The grid computing paradigm can be extended from combining the power of multiple mainframes or supercomputers to distribute massive computing problems, to harnessing the PCs in university computer labs to add CPU cycles to help the university's processing any time that those PCs are not being used by students. With the support of Linux and the ability to remain completely flexible and platform-independent, grid computing shows promise for more and more applications.

Two decades ago, how many companies thought that they would need access to the Internet and an intranet? How reliant are these companies on this technology now? The grid may well be the next step in the evolution of computing. There will doubtless be issues along the way that we have to address, but the benefits will far outweigh the obstacles.

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