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Distributed computing start-up helping researchers around the world access affordable computing power

Craig Tavares

 October 14, 2020

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Early in his research career, PHD physicist Dr. Daniel Desjardins discovered that getting the computing resources he required to complete calculations for complex mathematical modelling was difficult. Universities didn’t always have the available computing power themselves and commercial cloud computing was often too costly for a researcher’s budget.

So Desjardins hatched a plan to build a distributed computing platform that could harness computing resources from underutilized computers and devices from around the world. In 2017, he founded Kings Distributed Systems (KDS) in Kingston, Ont., to make it simpler for researchers in science, innovation and discovery to share compute power from platforms ranging from enterprise-class data centers to individual laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Kings’ distributed computing platform now powers web applications for researchers from around the world with no download or installation required. And it’s helping those researchers come up with solutions to some of society’s most pressing issues, including disease control.

“One thousand computed data points for a disease model took approximately 34 days to compute on a single laptop,” said Desjardins, now Kings’ CEO. “On our network, it takes less than 4 hours.”

At the heart of Kings’ platform is its scheduler, which links researchers with available computing power. Because Kings’ is a made-in-Canada success story, Desjardins wanted the platform to be housed within Canada. But he needed a data center that offered excellent uptime, redundancy, security and response times to handle simultaneous connection requests from hundreds of thousands of devices around the world.

Ultimately Desjardins chose to colocate the hardware for Kings’ scheduler with Aptum, based on our powerful connectivity options, security and heritage of data center expertise.

Today, Kings’ not only offers an affordable computing platform for researchers from around the globe, but the company is also heading up Project Looking Glass, an initiative funded by the Canadian federal government, that uses analytics to help inform decision making around COVID-19 policies.

We’re proud to be working with customers like Kings Distributed Systems to help them power innovative solutions that require the highest levels of bandwidth, uptime and security. Our expertly managed data center services are enabling customers across a wide range of industries to make colocation a core part of their IT strategy, while reducing their risk and saving them money. For more information on our work with Kings Distributed Systems, please read the full customer story here.


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