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Understanding Grids

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.

Organizations around the world are utilizing grid computing today in such diverse areas as collaborative scientific research, drug discovery, financial risk analysis, and product design. Grid computing enables research-oriented organizations to solve problems that were infeasible to solve due to computing and data-integration constraints. Grids also reduce costs through automation and improved IT resource utilization. Finally, grid computing can increase an organization’s agility enabling more efficient business processes and greater responsiveness to change. Over time grid computing will enable a more flexible, efficient and utility-like global computing infrastructure.

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.

Want More?

If you consider yourself a grid novice or are not familiar with distributed computing concepts, consider visiting CERN's GridCafe. Created and managed by CERN (a European Organization for Nuclear Research and an important partner with OGF in grid adoption), GridCafe gives simple and easy to understand answers to the why's, what's, and how's of grids.

If you consider yourself a grid expert (or want to become one), then consider reading the articles in the March 2005 version of IEEE Proceedings on Grid Computing, several of which were written by OGF leaders and by participants in the OGF.

Just for Kids

IBM and New York Hall of Science and the Association of Science-Technology Centers has dedicated a section of TryScience to educating young students about grid technologies. The new section, titled The Grid, aims to teach kids what type of work best fits on the grid and how best to prioritize projects on a grid network.



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