Introduction: Business and Technological Drivers of Grid Computing
The vision of using and sharing computers and data as utility has been inspired by constantly increasing computing needs faced by researchers in science and can be traced back in the 1960s to the Internet pioneer Licklider (see Berman and Hey 2004). Licklider wrote in his groundbreaking paper (Licklider 1960)1 that computers should be developed “to enable men and computers to cooperate in making decisions and controlling complex situations without inflexible dependence on predetermined programs.” But, it was only in the mid 1990s when this vision became reality and the term “Grid Computing” was coined in order to denote a new computing paradigm (Foster et al. 2001). Explained from the user perspective in the most simplest way, Grid Computing means that computing power and resources can be obtained as utility similar to electricity – the user can simply request information and computations and have them delivered to him without necessity to care where the data he requires resides or which computer is processing his request (Goyal and Lawande 2005). From the technical perspective Grid Computing means the virtualization and sharing of available computing and data resources among different organizational and physical domains. By means of virtualization and support for sharing of resources, scattered computing resources are abstracted from the physical location and their specific features and provided to the users as a single resource that is automatically allocated to their computing needs and processes. At the core of Grid Computing therefore are virtualization and virtual centralization as well as availability of heterogeneous and distributed resources based on collaboration among and sharing of existing infrastructures from different organizational domains which together build the computing Grid.
contribution to practical use / society
Grid and Cloud Computing : A Business Perspective on Technology and Applications