Why Cloud Computing Is Better Than Grid Computing

Why Cloud Computing Is Better Than Grid Computing

Several web developers, especially the new ones, have continuously misunderstand grid computing and cloud computing as one and the same. Both concepts, when compared to other solutions, are relatively new concepts in computing. Grid computing is a component of cloud computing to work perfectly, along with thin clients and utility computing. It serves as a link among different computers so that they form a large infrastructure thereby permitting sharing of resources. Utility computing, on the other hand, allows a user to pay for what he actually used. Cloud computing allows for on-demand resource provisioning and takes out over-provisioning when paired with utility computing so that the demands of a multitude of users are met.

Cloud computing allows companies to scale instantaneously. These corporations do not need to buy infrastructure, software licenses, or train personnel. Cloud computing is of primary importance to small and medium sized enterprises because they can outsource the computing requirements to data centers. In some instances, large companies can also benefit from cloud computing when they desire peak load capacity without spending on enlarging their internal data centers. Cloud computing allows its users to access their data and applications through the internet. The users are also charged for what they actually use.

With cloud computing, users have the option to choose whatever device they want to access their data and applications. Aside from the personal computers, they can now use PDAs, smart phones, and other devices. They don’t own any platform, software, and infrastructure. They also have to pay less upfront costs, operating expenses, and even capital expenses. With cloud computing, users need not know about network and server maintenance. They can access different servers around the world without necessarily knowing where the servers are located.

Grid computing, on the other hand, is a backbone of cloud computing. It allows provision of on-demand resource. Actually, grid computing can also be implemented outside of the cloud environment. For system integrators and administrators, they are particularly interested in grid computing while users need not know about grid computing as long as they are assured their interfaces work when they need them. Grid computing is possible through software which can control all the computers connected to a grid.

With grid computing, tasks are divided into smaller ones and are sent to different servers connected to a main machine. Once a particular server is done with its computing task, the results are sent to the main machine. As soon as all the other computing tasks are received by the main server, the result is then provided to the user. Through grid computing, there is effective use of all processing power of connected servers. Processing time is also greatly reduced when the tasks are divided and assigned to various servers.

Both grid computing and cloud computing are scalable due to application load balancing. Network bandwidth and CPU can be apportioned and un-apportioned. Depending on how large the customer base is, and the amount of data transfer and instances, storage capacity can move. Both concepts can handle multitasking and multi-tenancy. They both guarantee uptime to as much as 99%.

Cloud computing and grid computing differ in the method they use in computing. For grid computing, a huge task is divided into smaller tasks and distributed to various servers. When the tasks are completed, the results are sent back to the main machine which will then provide a single output. Cloud computing offers various services to users which grid computing can’t offer like web hosting.

Cloud computing is also environment friendly as it reduces the need for more hardware components to run applications. Because of less servers needed, energy use is also reduced. Cloud computing also offers telecommuting opportunities which reduce requirement of office space, disposal of old furniture, provisioning of new furniture, and cleaning and disposal of office trash. Less carbon dioxide is also emitted because employees need not drive to work daily.

By Florence G. de Borja

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