What is Grid Computing ?
Dr Tom Harris
National Institute for Environmental eScience
Business Briefing Seminar
Cambridge, February 12 2004
• The web allows you access to
widely spread distributed
• You need not know or care where it
• You provide the processing power
locally to put it on your computer
• The web is just content !
• When you need it, you access it
• You don’t know or care where it
• A supplier company handles the
delivery and control
• You only pay for what you use.
• The Power Grid is just power !
Grid Computing is:
The Internet on steroids
• Grid allows seamless access to
information AND computing resources
• You need not know or care where
either comes from
• You pay for the computer cycles you
• Its like application service provision
but with the computing power
• The Grid is content and Power !
Types of Grid Computing
There is not one type of Grid
• Local Grid - Build a Grid in your office
to make more efficient use of your
existing processing power
• Information Grid – subscribe to
accessing and processing very large
• Workbench Grid – subscribe to highly
specialised data processing or
distributed data management services
• Grid Computing is an enabling
technology for business !
Grid Computing Benefits
Grid Computing enables:
• more effective and seamless
collaboration of dispersed enterprises.
• large-scale applications comprising of
10,000 computers or large-scale
• transparent access to "high-end"
resources from your desktop on a pay
per use basis
• location independence of resources
as well as data.
• better utilisation of expensive
• Grid Computing will change the
way we do business !
Who can benefit?
You can benefit if you:
• need to run complex models or
• need access to, or use large
databases, either in house or
• would like to run multiple models with
different starting points
• collaborate within a larger community.
• want to make better utilisation of your
• If you work in the Environmental
Dr Tom Harris
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