What Is Grid Computing?

Written by Caitlin Davidson

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Grid Computing Defined

Grid computing is a processor architecture that combines computer resources from various domains to work on a task together, thus functioning as if it was a supercomputer. In other terms, grid computing is the process of working on various tasks and specialized application within a network, with its main goal to solve problems that are too big for a supercomputer.

This type of computing architecture involves a grid, connected by parallel nodes to form a computer cluster. This cluster runs on an operating system and can vary in size from several networks to a small work station. This cluster is then connected to each PC or system and combines the gathered information to form on one application that is computation-intensive.

Grid operations are generally classified into two categories:

  • Data Grid: A system that handles large distributed data sets used for data management and controlled user sharing.
  • CPU Scavenging Grids: A cycle-scavenging system that moves projects from one PC to another as needed.

Advantages of grid computing include:

  • Solving larger, more complex problems  in a shorter period of time
  • Easier ability to collaborate with other organizations
  • More efficient use of existing hardware

In Data Defined, we help make the complex world of data more accessible by explaining some of the most complex aspects of the field.

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