Cloud Computing Vs Grid Computing: Difference Between Cloud Computing & Grid Computing

The similarity between cloud computing and grid computing is uncanny. The underlying concepts that make these two inherently different are actually so similar to one and another, which is responsible for creating a lot of confusion. Both cloud and grid computing aims to provide a similar kind of services to a large user base by sharing assets among an enormous pool of clients.

Both of these technologies are obviously network-based and are capable enough to sport multitasking. The availability of multitasking allows the users of either of the two services to use multiple applications at the same time. You are also not limited to the kind of applications that you can use. You are free to choose any number of applications that can accomplish any tasks that you want. Learn more about cloud computing applications.

Now the way each of these technologies makes the resources available to the user base is actually very different. Grid computing aims to make all the available resources virtual, meaning all the computing resources would be made available on a grid to store vast amounts of data. Cloud computing, however, is very different from grid computing in this regard. Cloud computing never lets any application access the available resources directly.

Instead, all the resources are made available for use by any application via the use of the internet. Another critical difference between grid and cloud computing is that the available resources are distributed to the computers connected to the specific grid in grid computing.

Whereas in cloud computing, the management of all the available computing resources is done in a central unit. That was a very brief overview of what makes each of these methods of computing unique. In order to understand grid computing vs. cloud computing in a holistic way, we must first take a look at them individually. 

Read: Challenges in Cloud Computing

Grid Computing

With the help of a number of computers all linked together on a network, grid computing aims to process a massive volume of data by pooling in all the available computing power from all the computers on the network. If you employ grid computing to solve a problem, grid computing would instruct all the available processing units currently on the grid to work on the same issue, thus reducing the amount of time taken to solve the problem simultaneously. 

Essentially, the definition of grid computing would be that it is a massive network of computers all connected with each other, all working in harmony to solve a common problem. The solution to the problem is found out by dividing the problems into smaller units known as grids. Grid computing follows a distributed architecture meaning the tasks given to any computer over the grid are managed and given meticulously to avoid any clashes and minimize the overall time is taken (there is no time dependency). 

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the type of computing that is accomplished via the help of the internet. Any application which is running on the cloud computing setup cannot access the resource pool directly. Instead, the application must interact with the internet to gain access to any of the available computing power.

It is definitely a testament to the modern advancement which have been achieved in the 21st century. Cloud computing works best for remote access to any IT resource which might not be available but, at the same time, is very crucial for a computing problem to be solved.

Cloud computing allows for on-demand access to a vast resource pool, which is dynamically allocated. Since there is just a need for one main computer to handle resource allocation; thus, the cost of setting up the operations is also reduced. Cloud computing allows users to only use the applications they want without worrying about any of their own personal data. Essentially you pay only for what you use and what you need. 

Must Read: Cloud Computing Project Ideas & Topics

Difference Between Grid and Cloud Computing

Now that we have understood the particular meaning of the two terms, we can now pit grid computing vs. cloud computing, head to head to understand what differences lie there:

1. The difference in technology

In Grid computing, the task at hand is broken down into smaller problems. Through a distributed network, the tasks are shared among the network of interconnected computers. Whereas, in cloud computing, there is just one central computing unit that takes care of the distribution of all the available resources. The resources can only be accessed with the help of the internet.

2. The difference in the way of their functioning

The primary function that grid computing is used for is scheduling jobs, where the available resources are divided and distributed into a number of small tasks that every computer on the grid is tasked to do.

After completing all these little tasks, all the allocated resources are acquired back by the main machine. Cloud computing, on the other hand, behaves on a need basis. Whenever there is a need for resources, the central computing unit allocates all the available resources and takes them back when the task is completed.

3. The difference in their application

Cloud in cloud computing is actually a reference to the internet. The primary use of cloud computing is to ask for the resources whenever the need for them arises without having to buy either the software or the hardware by yourself. The cloud takes care of all resource allocation and management.

Whereas, researchers actually use grid computing to perform academic research because the pooling of such a considerable amount of computing power in one place allows for a faster and an efficient way to handle massive amounts of data. Not only does grid computing can handle massive amounts of data, but it can perform the required actions and provide the desired results.

4. The difference in resources

Grid computing requires the presence of physical hardware or software to be connected on the grid. The location of these resources, however, is not important as long as they all are connected. In cloud computing, there is just one central unit that takes care of everything. 

Checkout: Future Scope of Cloud Computing

What Next?

If you are interested to learn about cloud computing and Machine learning, upGrad in collaboration with IIT- Madras, has launched the Machine Learning in Cloud program. The course will equip you with the necessary skills for this role: maths, data wrangling, statistics, programming, cloud-related skills, as well as ready you for getting the job of your dreams.

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