Category: 

What is Grid Computing?

Multiple systems perform a task in a specific location during grid computing.
Article Details
  • Written By: Thursday Bram
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Bill Clinton met John F. Kennedy when he was 16.  more...

September 2 ,  1666 :  The "Great Fire of London" burned down more than 13,000 buildings, including St. Paul's   more...

Grid computing is the act of sharing tasks over multiple computers. Tasks can range from data storage to complex calculations and can be spread over large geographical distances. In some cases, computers within a grid are used normally and only act as part of the grid when they are not in use. These grids scavenge unused cycles on any computer that they can access, to complete given projects. SETI@home is perhaps one of the best-known grid computing projects, and a number of other organizations rely on volunteers offering to add their computers to a grid.

These computers join together to create a virtual supercomputer. Networked computers can work on the same problems, traditionally reserved for supercomputers, and yet this network of computers are more powerful than the super computers built in the seventies and eighties. Modern supercomputers are built on the principles of grid computing, incorporating many smaller computers into a larger whole.

The idea of grid computing originated with Ian Foster, Carl Kesselman and Steve Tuecke. They got together to develop a toolkit to handle computation management, data movement, storage management and other infrastructure that could handle large grids without restricting themselves to specific hardware and requirements. The technique is also exceptionally flexible.

Ad

Grid computing techniques can be used to create very different types of grids, adding flexibility as well as power by using the resources of multiple machines. An equipment grid will use a grid to control a piece of equipment, such as a telescope, as well as analyze the data that equipment collects. A data grid, however, will primarily manage large amounts of information, allowing users to share access.

Grid computing is similar to cluster computing, but there are a number of distinct differences. In a grid, there is no centralized management; computers in the grid are independently controlled, and can perform tasks unrelated to the grid at the operator's discretion. The computers in a grid are not required to have the same operating system or hardware. Grids are also usually loosely connected, often in a decentralized network, rather than contained in a single location, as computers in a cluster often are.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon251209
Post 23

Please give me more information about gird computing and also tell me what types of jobs are in grid computing.

anon131332
Post 21

what does grid computing actually mean?

anon129064
Post 20

Please in what course are cloud cluster and grid computing taught at the university and where can it be used

anon110697
Post 19

what all details need to be known by a student of this grid computing?

anon109993
Post 18

Difference between grid and cloud is nicely given.

anon109184
Post 16

what are some books for students on grid computing?

anon106101
Post 15

i would like to know more about grid computing?

anon105380
Post 14

You are so cool with your comment on grid computing because it matches almost what i need on my seminar topic. thanks.

anon97775
Post 13

good information. I would like to have a grid computing presentation.

anon95935
Post 12

I need more information on grid computing, and various levels of presenting a paper in it.

anon94518
Post 11

nice. I need more information about grid computing.

ashwathykr
Post 10

thanks. I need more information about grid computing and how it happens if we have two or three computers, and what are the specifications needed. Can anyone help me?

anon85090
Post 8

nice. Please send me the powerpoint related to grid computing.

anon75621
Post 6

Please send me the powerpoint related to grid computing.

anon73922
Post 5

so how can I do it myself using two computers? What are the cables needed?

anon38285
Post 3

nice. good.

anon34729
Post 2

What are some books for students on the basics of grid computing?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email