Cloud Computing vs Grid Computing

2010-07-19by Zetta Grid

Grid computing has been around for a long time, and sometime is confused with cloud computing. To be honest, these processes are not the same and should not be confused with each other. Cloud and grid computing are two different operations.

Cloud computing and grid computing are alike in the fact that both work outside the firewall to the local network. They are also alike in the fact that they use other machines either by volunteer network or by renting them from companies set up to help with the specified operation. Both operations use the internet to connect to the cloud or the grid. That being said, understanding what each operation does will help you decide if your company needs to use one or the other service.

Cloud computing is a 3rd party service. These services can include software as a service, platform as a service, or infrastructure as a service all without investing into an expensive upgrade to your current infrastructure. Most of the time, access to services is instant which allows for immediate growth when called for. While any company can benefit from properly used and managed cloud computing, mostly small and midsized businesses are using these services. Grid computing on the other hand is a much older operation and is generally used in the scientific community. Computers on a grid tend to be geographically distant and very loosely coupled together. When the grid is operating, it compiles and analyzes massive amounts of data that can help scientists. One public example of this is the SETI@home project. The people at SETI send volunteers small pieces of information that need to be processed and when done the volunteer computers send it back. The computers are only used when their owners do not need them. Many other important projects are analyzed this way.

Simply put, businesses use cloud computing while scientists and researchers use grid computing. If your business is in the scientific community, for example a drug development company, then you may use both cloud and grid computing, but those instances are rare, and most likely your business will just need cloud computing to accomplish some of those daily tasks.

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