In the last few years there has been a rapid exponential increase in computer processing power, data storage and communication.But still there are many complex and computation intensive problems, which cannot be solved by supercomputers.These problems can only be met with a vast variety of heterogeneous resources. The increased use and popularity of the Internet and the availability of high-speed networks have gradually changed the way we do computing. These technologies have enabled the cooperative use of a wide variety of geographically distributed resources as a single more powerful computer. This new method of pooling resources for solving large-scale problems is called as grid computing. This paper describes the concepts underlying grid computing.
Pros and cons
The term grid computing originated in the early 1990s as a metaphor for making computer power as easy to access as an electric power grid. The power grid metaphor for accessible computing quickly became canonical when Ian Foster and Carl Kesselman published their seminal work, "The Grid: Blueprint for a new computing infrastructure" (2004). CPU scavenging and volunteer computing were popularized beginning in 1997 by distributed.net and later in 1999 by SETI@home to harness the power of networked PCs worldwide, in order to solve CPU-intensive research problems. The ideas of the grid (including those from distributed computing, object-oriented programming, and Web services) were brought together by Ian Foster, Carl Kesselman, and Steve Tuecke, widely regarded as the "fathers of the grid". They led the effort to create the Globus Toolkit incorporating not just computation management but also storage management, security provisioning, data movement, monitoring, and a toolkit for developing additional services based on the same infrastructure, including agreement negotiation, notification mechanisms, trigger services, and information aggregation. While the Globus Toolkit remains the de facto standard for building grid solutions, a number of other tools have been built that answer some subset of services needed to create an enterprise or global grid. In 2007 the term cloud computing came into popularity, which is conceptually similar to the canonical Foster definition of grid computing (in terms of computing resources being consumed as electricity is from the power grid). Indeed, grid computing is often (but not always) associated with the delivery of cloud computing systems as exemplified by the AppLogic system from 3tera.
Today there are many definitions of grid computing:
In his article “What is the Grid? A Three Point Checklist”,Ian Foster lists these primary attributes: Computing resources are not administered centrally.
Open standards are used.
Nontrivial quality of service is achieved.
Plaszczak/Wellner define grid technology as "the technology that enables resource virtualization, on-demand provisioning, and service (resource) sharing between organizations." IBM defines grid computing as “the ability, using a set of open standards and protocols, to gain access to applications and data, processing power, storage capacity and a vast array of other computing resources over the Internet. A grid is a type of parallel and distributed system that enables the sharing, selection, and aggregation of resources distributed across ‘multiple’ administrative domains based on their (resources) availability, capacity, performance, cost and users' quality-of-service requirements” An earlier example of the notion of computing as utility was in 1965 by MIT's Fernando Corbató. Corbató and the other designers of the Multics operating system envisioned a computer facility operating “like a power company or water company”. Buyya/Venugopal define grid as "a type of parallel and distributed system that enables the sharing,...
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