The volunteer cloud model combines public-resource computing and cloud compute infrastructure for a distributed cloud that takes the place of centralized systems in a data center. Because these projects use participants’ resources at irregular times when their computers are idle, a volunteer cloud must be flexible and tolerant of variable capabilities.
Generally, volunteer cloud computing involves groups of people who donate their resources because they believe in the goals of a given cloud project. Nevertheless, promoting and motivating support for voluntary cloud computing projects can be one of a project’s greatest challenges. Some volunteer projects, such has Cloud@Home have tried paying volunteers for their resource donations; other projects have tried other incentives to participate, such as gamification.