Hello to all the Readers. I will discuss a bit technical points of Cloud Computing, Distributed Computing and Grid Computing and how Cloud Computing differs from both Distributed and Grid.
The reason I am going to discuss the technical points in common language is to make the users comfortable with the terms.
Is not Cloud Computing is the brother of Distributed Computing?
You need to know a bit about Distributed Computing and Grid, I can guess most of the readers are quite aware of Cloud Computing; so unlike Distributed and Grid, I am not explain it further.
If you are not a technical person, forget all what you know about Cloud Computing, still I say you to recall. Erase the word Cloud Computing temporarily from your mind.
Let us now think about Distributed. Those who are of a bit older generation, probably heard much about distributed computing and Grid just like the new generation is now uttering Cloud Computing. The reason to start thinking about Cloud Computing started as a method to power up a particular work using several computers rather than one (do not recall Cloud Computing). This need took birth from the expanding need of Supercomputers. As probably all of the readers know, supercomputer needs a big funding to start. Only few Countries like U.S. , China, India and some European countries are successfully using own establishment for Supercomputing.
You might have read somewhere these two terms : Distributed Computing and Grid is being used synonymously. Though both are not the same, but Grid has definite relationship with Distributed Computing. Berkeley still experimenting with their own Distributed Computing redundant cycles with Seti@Home. There is an Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) that works behind distributed computing.
Both of these two systems has much to do with Super Computing and is actually used hugely in the Research of Medical Science. Good example can be, an open source system that analyzes the DNA mis-foldings in E.Coli.
Now think of Cloud Computing. Is it have anything to do with supercomputing? No. It is for user oriented usage. seti@home can not be run on any Cloud Computing infrastructure. All the Cloud Computing machines’ processor will burn out if we run an enormous task on Cloud Computing. Because they are not designed to run such intense arithmetic calculations. Unlike most common people think, supercomputers has very difficult interface, even some do not have any graphical interface. The reason is we need not wish to increase the load of a machine which will run for the next 12 years or more without interruption.
Unlike the consumer level computers, supercomputers are very targeted for their work.
Cloud Computing is just for the consumers
I guess I have explained the basic goal of a supercomputer. Distributed and Virtual Computing systems are sometime called as Virtual Super Computer.
In case of Cloud Computing, some powerful consumer lever servers are networked together using their own framework. The Cloud Computing Companies, often touts as Cloud Servers, basically it is many good servers, powerful servers are working together. In case of Cloud Computing, if only one server fails, others will backup the work, but in distributed computing, one failed unit might cause complete failure of the work. Cloud Computing Companies has nice marketing strategy, they often says about Load Balancing and On Demand Power. Load Balancing is not only of the Cloud Computing platform, Load Balancing depends on the processor and yes, your modern laptop’s processor can do load balancing. Second is much touted on demand power. In case of a simple virtual server, you will get a burstable computing power too.
This article on Cloud Computing, Distributed Computing and Grid Computing is written by Prof. Mahendra Lal Chaturbedi. Prof. Chaturbedi has opted not to publish his email publicly. If you have question, kindly contact us, mention “To Prof. Mahendra Lal Chaturbedi” in the subject line.
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