Grid Computing

What is Grid Computing?

Grid computing is made up of applications used for computational computer problems that are connected in a parallel networking environment. It connects each PC and combines information to form one application that is computation-intensive. Grids have a variety of resources based on diverse software and hardware structures, computer languages, and frameworks, either in a network or by using open standards with specific guidelines to achieve a common goal.

The idea of grid computing was first established in the early 1990s by Carl Kesselman, Ian Foster and Steve Tuecke. They developed the Globus Toolkit standard, which included grids for data storage management, data processing and intensive computation management.

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Grid had its beginnings in the mid 1990's in scientific computing but the notion of distributed computing has been around for decades.

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Computational grids combine computational and data resources across organizational boundaries. The sharing of code and data on the grid gives rise to the need for security. Security is the most challenging issue offered by grid systems due to its unique characteristics.

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The architecture of a grid system is often described in terms of “layers”, each providing a specific function. Higher layers are user-centric, whereas the lower layers are hardware-centric.

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Grids have been so far very successful to handle at large scale a lot of computing intensive applications in various different domains. Some of them are dealing with gigabytes, terabytes or even petabytes. In 2006, the digital data production of the humanity reached 161 exabytes (billion GBs) (18 zeros). Grids do not deal yet with these numbers, but are each day getting closer.

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