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volunteer cloud (peer-to-peer cloud, ad-hoc cloud)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Volunteer cloud, also known as peer-to-peer cloud and ad-hoc cloud, is the coordination of members’ computing resources to amass a cloud architecture for a single purpose.

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.

This was last updated in August 2015

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