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Difference Between Cloud Computing and Grid Computing

Cloud Computing vs Grid Computing

With Google actively pushing it, cloud computing has become a very popular subject matter among computer experts and even ordinary computer users. The discussion has led many people to ask how cloud computing compares to other computing architectures like grid computing. The main difference between cloud computing and grid computing is in how they distribute the resources. Grid computing pools the resources from many separate computers acting as if they are one supercomputer. In comparison, cloud computing provides resources to multiple computers from a single, abstract location (i.e. the cloud).

The two are very different, and this difference is reflected in the tasks they do. Cloud computing is good for conducting a huge number of small tasks. A good example of this would be a large number of people doing word processing or other office work. On the other hand, grid computing is excellent for doing a handful of very intensive and complex tasks like protein folding. The computer that manages the grid breaks down the task to multiple smaller parts and assigns each one to a different computer on the grid to perform.

The idea behind cloud computing is that a single computer that resides in the cloud, or the Internet, does all the computations for hundreds of thousands of users around the world. This is not really possible since no single supercomputer can handle that much of a load 24/7. And even if there was, it would be prohibitively expensive. To solve this problem, cloud computing is typically set on top of a grid computing architecture. The request of a user from the cloud is analyzed by an interface computer; then the task is assigned to one or more computers on the grid. In this manner, grid computing creates a seemingly ultra-powerful computer to serve the needs of the cloud.

The biggest advantage of this setup is flexibility. The computers on the grid can be allocated dynamically to whoever needs it. Once the user is done, the computer is then released to other users on the cloud. Given that we are not on our computers 24 hours a day, a fewer number of computers are needed to serve the needs of many.


1.Cloud computing puts resources into one place while grid computing distributes it to many locations.
2.Cloud computing is typically for many small tasks while grid computing is suited for a few large tasks.
3.Large cloud computing instances utilize grid computing internally.

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