Grid Computing Vs Cloud Computing


Recently we started hearing a lot about these terms. They are bit confusing and not many are clear about the distinction. I tried to google it to see if there is any simple and clear explanation somewhere. But I wasn’t that lucky. So let me explain this in a simplest possible way.

Grid Computing term is in use from quite some time and has clear meaning and context where as Cloud computing is relatively new and has a broad meaning to it.

Grid refers to the set of independent computers that are used in parallel to run a very lengthy process like research etc. All these computers do their job independently and the results are added up. This whole coordination is handled by special software. (I will keep specifics away for the sake simplicity). This whole computing process is known as Grid Computing.

Coming to Cloud computing, it refers to the set of services that run independently (may be on one processor, multiple processors, or in totally different environment) and brought together to serve a specific purpose. Here service could be of any size and nature. For example, a storefront might be using Credit card processing service hosted on different machine from different company, and paypal services by Paypal etc. All these services are generally accessed over internet hence the name Cloud.

I think it was simple to start with. To understand more, bringing multiple services together is always a challenge and there are many methodologies and commercial and non-commercial softwares. Different terms are used in different context. There are lots of resources available to learn more. I have listed some of the very useful links below.
Happy learning!

Related Terms:


  • Enterprise Bus
  • Middleware
  • Utility Computing
  • Virtual Servers
  • Super Computer
  • SaaS (Software as a Service)
  • CPU Scavenging
  • Shared Computing
  • Distributed Computing




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