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What is Grid Computing?

Thursday Bram
Thursday Bram

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.

Multiple systems perform a task in a specific location during grid computing.
Multiple systems perform a task in a specific location during grid computing.

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.

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.

Discussion Comments


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


what does grid computing actually mean?


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


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


Difference between grid and cloud is nicely given.


what are some books for students on grid computing?


i would like to know more about grid computing?


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


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


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


nice. I need more information about grid computing.


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?


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


Please send me the powerpoint related to grid computing.


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


nice. good.


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

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    • Multiple systems perform a task in a specific location during grid computing.
      By: boscorelli
      Multiple systems perform a task in a specific location during grid computing.