Cloud computing & utility computing are two terms often confused in businesses for outsourced computing requirements of an organization; be it hardware or software. The front-end doesn’t look different in user’s perspective, its the back-end which separates the two technologies.
Resource optimization and technology abstraction is what most of the businesses ask for in a current organizational infrastructure. The key concern of any business is to improve and concentrate their core operations instead of taking care of the supporting resources like IT infrastructure. In order to do so, the concept of resource outsourcing was introduced which focuses and emphasizes on installation & maintenance of resources. Technologies like cloud computing, virtualization, utility & grid computing were introduced so that all business supporting technologies can be outsourced while using them.
Even though both utility computing & grid computing are defined abstractly under the umbrella of cloud computing, utility computing is conceptually different from cloud computing. From a business point of view, both utility computing & cloud computing are same as they serve the same purpose of resource outsourcing. However, form a manager’s point of view, they are completely different.
A manager or network technician looks at a grid computing network in a way different from the way they see a cloud computing network:
- In grid computing the nature of leasing the resources is straightforward. There is a direct access provided for each resource in grid computing, manager is aware about every facility wherever data will reside and business knows about each source of service they rent. Grid computing gives a detailed layout of the services leased by a company.
- If talking about cloud services, a cloud computing company abstracts most of the details just like it hides the technology complexities. A business only gets to know the quality and type of service it will get and not the detailed description of the facility, source of service or any other detail as provided in grid computing.
While both cloud and grid are quite efficient in terms of scalability, multitasking and multi-tenancy, cloud serves better efficiency and performance because of the availability of multiple serving sources.
- All the serving nodes in a cloud are de-localized while in grid computing, all the serving sources are known to a user and are dedicated to different users. Due to this in-dependency from a single source, more up-time can be provided to users with better efficiency as instances can be located to different servers for load balancing during high load conditions.
- Grid computing is quite stagnant and conventional type of computing technology which relies on standard computing practices using traditional programming styles in a well established business model. On the other hand, cloud provides a more dynamic environment for programmers to provide distinctive virtual computing experience for businesses.
With a conclusion, we can state that grid computing is basically related to a business model where basic IT infrastructure services like server hosting are required. A facility is provided for these services by the service provider. On the other hand, a cloud computing strategy designs, deploys & runs an application in a virtual environment where resources can be shared and have the ability to expand or shrink dynamically while keeping the level of performance and quality of service to its highest level.