Thursday, September 3, 2009

Grid vs Cloud

The following message thread occurred in the old CSix Cloud Computing Yahoo Group starting 9-3-9.  The text was transferred in case anyone wants to continue the discussion here.

Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 09:49:19 -0700
From: Glenn Reitsma <glenn.reitsma@...>
Subject: grid vs cloud

Is there a common distinction between grid computing and cloud computing or are the two terms synonymous ?

Glenn Reitsma
408-307-3058    (on-line resume)

Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 10:35:07 -0700
From: Bob Sutterfield <bob@...>
Subject: Re: [CSix-Cloud] grid vs cloud

Glenn Reitsma wrote:
Is there a common distinction between grid computing and cloud computing or are the two terms synonymous?

At the layer that's now called IaaS "Infrastructure as a Service", I think of the three RADlab distinctives (infinite resources, no commitment, pay by the drink) as distinguishing Grid from Cloud.  I think of Grid as denoting a large number of identical elements in a loosely coupled parallel architecture.  Many users do Grid-style large scale computing on a Cloud, but not all Grids are managed in a Cloud-y way.

At the layer that's now called SaaS "Software as a Service", there's not much difference from the user's point of view.

Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 12:55:35 -0700
From: "Waiming Mok" <wmm@...>
Subject: RE: [CSix-Cloud] grid vs cloud
From my experience, grid (ala grid computing) tends to focus on
Solving computational intensive applications
(e.g. SLAC and CERN use grid for nuclear physics).
Grid has been around since the early days of
lower-cost rack-mount servers (sparc or x86).
There tends to be master job scheduler that dispatches jobs
To the various compute nodes (e.g. Rock, LSF, Sun Grid Engine).
There is a distributed file system shared between the nodes.

Some differences I know about between grid and cloud:

1)      Because grid tends to server computing intensive jobs, grid does not
Use virtualization to partition the hardware node, whereas cloud
Tends to use virtualization partitioning to get multiple OS and workloads
Running in a single node.
2)      Grid dispatches jobs (in form of applications) to the nodes running specific OS.
Cloud tends to spawn virtual machines at the IaaS level.

As Bob says, it’s possible to deploy grid within cloud – should take above into account.


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