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Grid Computing

Grid Computing, IBM, CERN,virtualization,provisioning, Compute Grids ,Data Grids ,Global Grids,Security, Globus Alliance ,Global Grid Forum


Grid computing is increasingly being viewed as the next phase of distributed computing. Built on pervasive Internet standards, grid computing enables organizations to share computing and information resources across department and organizational boundaries in a secure, highly efficient manner.

The key to realizing the benefits of grid computing is standardization, so that the diverse resources that make up a modern computing environment can be discovered, accessed, allocated, monitored, and in general managed as a single virtual system—even when provided by different vendors and/or operated by different organizations.


Grid computing is an emerging computing model that provides the ability to perform higher throughput computing by taking advantage of many networked computers to model a virtual computer architecture that is able to distribute process execution across a parallel infrastructure.

IBM says, "Grid is the ability, using a set of open standards and protocols, to gain access to applications and data, processing power, storage capacity and a vast array of other computing resources over the Internet. A Grid is a type of parallel and distributed system that enables the sharing, selection, and aggregation of resources distributed across multiple administrative domains based on the resources availability, capacity, performance, cost and users' quality-of-service requirements"

CERN, one of the largest users of Grid technology, talk of The Grid: "a service for sharing computer power and data storage capacity over the Internet."


The ideas of the Grid were brought together by Ian Foster, Carl Kesselman and Steve Tuecke, the so called "fathers of the Grid." They lead the effort to create the Globus Toolkit incorporating not just CPU management but also storage management, security provisioning, data movement, monitoring and a toolkit for developing additional services based on the same infrastructure including agreement negotiation, notification mechanisms, trigger services and information aggregation. In short, the term Grid has much further reaching implications than the general public believes.

Different in Grid Computing

Two core tenets uniquely distinguish grid computing from other styles of computing, such as mainframe, client-server, or multi-tier: virtualization and provisioning.
· With virtualization, individual resources (e.g. computers, disks, application components and information sources) are pooled together by type then made available to consumers (e.g. people or software programs) through an abstraction. Virtualization means breaking hard-coded connections between providers and consumers of resources, and preparing a resource to serve a particular need without the consumer caring how that is accomplished.
· With provisioning, when consumers request resources through a virtualization layer, behind the scenes a specific resource is identified to fulfill the request and then it’s allocated to the consumer. Provisioning as part of grid computing means that the system determines how to meet the specific need of the consumer, while optimizing performance of the system as a whole.

Benefits of Grid Computing

Grid computing provides the following benefits:
· Flexibility to meet changing business needs
· Highest quality of service at the lowest cost
· Investment protection and rapid return

Kinds of Grids

Compute Grids : Compute grids are the grid architecture most people have in mind when speaking of grids. Compute grids reduce the time needed to obtain a computational result. For example, a compute grid embedded in a data grid hosting very high-resolution images may provide a spike of processing power to perform image analyses on demand.

Data Grids : While compute grids present end-users with a logical view of computing resources, the focus for data grids is to present end-users with a logical view of content. Data grids bring collections of distributed data assets together in a holistic, consistent view, often through collaboration and sharing, in support of knowledge activities such as research, learning, mentoring, and scholarship. Data grids are an innovation for supplementing other learning and knowledge delivery capabilities without displacing anything. Data grids offer services for controlling access to, describing,9 and otherwise managing data collections. These services aim to manage most of the complexity of interacting with content so that data-grid end-users can focus on their primary tasks. Data grids federate multiple data sources, using local- and wide-area networks. Data grids enable collaboration, knowledge discovery, research, learning, mentoring, and scholarship through services for a variety of distributed end-users, possibly working in dynamic virtual organizations. Data-grid services aim to make discovery of collections of data transparent. The location of data, its file system, its disk drives, and its access controls are managed through abstractions that present themselves to end-users as higher-level services.

Grid Model

Grids can be categorized with a three stage model :
Departmental Grids : These correspond to a firm initially utilising resources within a single group i.e. an engineering department connecting desktop machines, clusters and equipment.

Enterprise Grids : This progresses to enterprise Grids where non-technical staff's computing resources can be used for cycle-stealing and storage.

Global Grids. A global Grid is a connection of enterprise and departmental Grids which can be used in a commercial or collaborative manner.


Software engineers and developers who are building the Grid are spending their time and effort in five big areas.

Sharing of resources : This is most important on a global scale. This is the very essence of the Grid.

Security : It is a critical aspect of the Grid, since there must be a very high level of trust between resource providers and users, who will often never know who each other are. Sharing resources is, fundamentally, in conflict with the ever more conservative security policies being applied at individual computer centers and on individual PCs. So getting Grid security right is crucial.

Balance the Load : If the resources can be shared securely, then the Grid really starts to pay off when it can balance the load on the resources, so that computers everywhere are used more efficiently, and queues for access to advanced computing resources can be shortened.

Distance no longer matters : doing a calculation on the other side of the globe, instead of just next door, should not result in any significant reduction in speed.

Open standards : This are needed in order to make sure that R&D worldwide can contribute in a constructive way to the development of the Grid, and that industry will be prepared to invest in developing commercial Grid services and infrastructure.


Global Grid Forum : The Global Grid Forum (GGF) is the community of users, developers, and vendors leading the global standardization effort for grid computing.

Globus Alliance : The Globus Alliance is a community of organizations and individuals developing fundamental technologies behind the "Grid," which lets people share computing power, databases, instruments, and other on-line tools securely across corporate, institutional, and geographic boundaries without sacrificing local autonomy.

Case Study Of Oracle

Oracle Corporation itself is using grid computing to improve its business processes, making infrastructure more efficient and less expensive.
Oracle’s Application Demo Systems (ADS) is used by its global sales organization to give demonstrations of Oracle products to prospects, customers, and partners. ADS runs the entire Oracle E-Business Suite—some 180 modules—in a single instance, with 450 copies of the environment maintained and supported for the sales force. In addition, they have a separate farm for technology demos that consists of about 50 environments. ADS hardware includes 300 Dell PE2650 servers running Linux, with dual P4 Xeon processors and 6GB of memory and 75 TB of storage. Running our demonstration environment—where performance is critical to a successful sale—on a Linux grid is a strong testament to the power and benefits of such an architecture.
Linux on low-cost, commodity hardware is a proven technology for mission-critical applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite. In fact, Oracle runs its own business on E-Business Suite on a Linux/Intel middle tier. This deployment includes a Global Single Instance (GSI) in our Austin, Texas Data Center which provides mission-critical applications to more than 50,000 Oracle employees worldwide. The GSI database consists of Oracle9i Database with Real Application Clusters (3-nodes) running on 3 Sun F12K machines with 104GB RAM and more than 3TB of storage; separately, the middle tier includes 21 Dell 2650 machines and 6GB RAM running Linux.
The benefit to Oracle? Lower cost and faster performance. Running our E-Business Suite internally on the GSI on Linux is 5 times cheaper and 3 times faster than on conventional UNIX/RISC.

Published: 2006-09-26
Author: Neelam Doshi

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I am in the field of Computer Science. I am Working as Faculty member in a Post-graduate College. if you want to know something about M-commerce you can visit my site. Any other query you can mail me at

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