Know the Difference Between Cloud, On-Demand, Grid Or Utility Computing
These days there is a great deal of buzz around cloud computing, but there is also a great deal of confusion. If you are wondering how cloud computing is different from the on-demand grid or utility computing you are not alone. You’ll want to read on to help you better understand.
Let’s look at an analogy. The United States is a country, but not all countries are the United States. This is a very simplified analogy but it’s also a great way to visualize the differences between cloud computing and grid or utility Computing. While grid or utility computing share many of the same attributes of cloud computer they are simply a subset of cloud computing. Let’s start by defining both grid computing and utility computing before we analyze any further.
You may be surprised to learn that both grid and utility computing are derived from the electricity system. Ian Foster coined the term grid computing, while Carl Kesselman’ book “The Grid: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure,” coined the term utility computing as a metaphor or image for showing how computer power could be accessed as easily as one could access the power grid – thus the term “utility computing.” It originated from the creation of an IT infrastructure that would be available to the public as a service that was metered, just like when the utility company provides you with electricity. Great now you have a little history behind the terms.
Grid computing is when computer resources made up up many administrative domains are used together to achieve a common goal. Think of it as a distributed system that involves huge numbers of diverse files that are dispersed geographically, but that is also non-interactive workloads. It is frequently compared to cluster computing.
For example, A super virtual computer that is made up of a number of networked computers that are working together to complete enormous tasks. Yet as varied as they are, they are coupled together loosely, which means that one component has little to no knowledge of what the other components are doing.
With utility computing resources, including software, hardware, and of course, network bandwidth, are rented on an as needed basis. In other words, what was once treated as a product is now treated as a service. This is not a new concept. It was back in 1961, that John McCarthy of MIT, had the idea that one day computers would be organized in the same manner as other utilities such as your telephone, manifesting an entirely new industry. And that concept has transpired into what we know today as utility computing.
Both grid computing and utility computing were around long before cloud computing. However, today both are viewed as useful tools that can be implemented with cloud computing; however, neither are needed for cloud computing to run.
Cloud computing has the capability to do everything grid and utility computing do, in addition to significantly more. For example, when you use cloud computing there is no restriction to any specific network. Cloud is accessible through the internet, which is the largest network in the world. It’s also what makes cloud computing such a powerful tool and so sought after.
Utility computing can be used stand alone without cloud. Think of it as a supercomputer that rents processing time to many different clients. However, because it has only one location and there are no virtual resources available, it is not cloud computing.
Grid computing may be considered a very weak form of cloud computing by some, because there are always some virtual resources involved. However, because there is such a huge likelihood of a the grid failing as a result of a single location failing, this makes grid computing not so desirable. Where as with cloud computing redundancy makes the risk of failure vary manageable.
So in summary, we might agree that grid computing is a weak version of cloud computing but lacking a significant number of the benefits that cloud offers. We might also agree that utility computing is a business model rather than a specific type of technology. While cloud computing supports all utility computing, the reverse is not true. Utility computing is not always based on cloud computing.
Daniel Guidotti is an expert financial blogger who contributes posts on the site www.capcredit.com. He also takes interest in technology and everything related to Internet marketing.