Grid and Cluster Computing
- Bharath Kumar M
VTU 10 scheme
VIII Semester elective subject
Part-B – Unit 5
What is a Grid?
Early defs: Foster and Kesselman, 1998
◦ “A computational grid is a hardware and software infrastructure that
provides dependable, consistent, pervasive, and inexpensive access to
high-end computational facilities”
◦ “We will probably see the spread of ‘computer utilities’, which, like
present electric and telephone utilities, will service individual homes and
offices across the country.”
◦ “A grid is a collection of distributed computing resources over a local
or wide area network, that appear to an end-user or application as one
large virtual computing system”
Vision of Grid:
Create virtual dynamic organizations through secure, coordinated resource sharing
among individuals and institutions.
An approach that spans locations, organizations, machine architectures and software
boundaries to provide unlimited power, collaboration and information access to
everyone connected to the grid
The Internet is about getting computers together (connected), grid computing is
about getting computers work together.
Combine the QoS of enterprise computing with ability to share the heterogeneous
distributed resources – everything from applications to data storage and servers.
Grid computing is a middleware software that manages and executes all
the activities related to:
◦ Identification of resources
◦ Allocation and deallocation of resources
◦ Consolidation of resources
Organizations having under-utilized or over-utilized resources need a
dynamically equitable distribution of resources.
The Data Centre
Before the data centre concepts came, organizations maintained own servers and
This approach was expensive and redundant
Data Centres shared resources with organizations.
Organizations connected to a data centre may not be able to use resources from
other data centres
Concept of grid computing enables multiple data centres (same or different
organizations) to be networked and shared.
Grid is a combination of:
◦ Distributed computing
◦ High Performance computing
◦ Disposable computing
Grid provides a metacomputing environment, which can be a megacomputing
facility for the users.
Grid provides computational utility to its consumers
Cluster Computing and Grid computing
Clusters are aggregations of processors in parallel configurations.
Resource allocation is performed by a centralized resource manager and scheduling
All nodes of a cluster work cooperatively together, as a unified resource.
Grid has resource manager for each node.
Grid does not provide a single system view.
Some grids are collections of clusters. Example: NSF Tera Grid
Metacomputing is all computing and computing-oriented activity which involves
computing knowledge (science and technology) utilized for the research,
development and application of different types of computing. ---- Wikipedia
Use of powerful computing resources, transparently available to the user via a
networked environment is Metacomputing.
Three essential steps to achieve goals of metacomputing are:
◦ To integrate the large number of individual hardware and software resources
into a combined networked resource
◦ To deploy and implement a middleware to provide a transparent view of
◦ To develop and deploy optimal applications on the distributed metacomputing
environment to take advantage of the resources.
Challenges in metacomputing –
-Viability of the linking speeds for realistic application execution
-ability and feasibility to execute parallely the components of an application
Resources and originating points of data are geographically distributed – may need
to processed in a distributed manner
Metacomputing is useful when a single point usage is required for large remotely
Metacomputing encompasses two broad categories:
- Seamless access to high performance
-Linking of computing resources, instruments and other resources.
Metacomputer is a virtual computer – its components are individually not
Metacomputer consists of:
◦ -Processors and memory
Single virtual view of several (large number) of processors and their
associated memory units
◦ -Network and communication software
Interconnected network of physically distributed processors
High bandwidth and low latency is required to provide rapid and reliable
◦ -Remote data access and retrieval
Date sizing upto petabytes.
Retrieval, replication and mirroring support.
Ability to manage and manipulate large quantity of remote data
◦ -Virtual environment
A software like an operating system, that can configure, manage and maintain
Evolution of Metacomputing projects
FAFNER (1995) - (Factoring via Network-Enabled Recursion)
◦ Finding factors of large numbers parallely, over a large network of
◦ Started by Bellcore Labs, Syracuse University
◦ To distribute the code for factorizing and related information data
I-WAY (1995) - Information Wide Area Year
◦ Experimental high-performance network, linking many servers and addressed
Scientific, Business and e-Governance Grids
Grid computing approach helped to all computing communities – businesses,
scientific research and government applications.
Scientific grids – users belong to only scientist groups
Business grids – users may belong any citizen groups using business services.
The number of users in Businesses and e-Governance are high – hence setting up
such girds are more complex
The user interfaces, access speeds and data sizes will be large.
Web Services and Grid Computing
Users of business and e-Governance grids will need we services over internet
Users of business grids will not be interested in hardware and software locations
They are not interested in resource allocation management as well.
Hence the need for integrating web services with grids.
Business computing and the Grid – a
Potential Win-win situation
Grid was initially utilized for applications such as: weather forecasting models,
molecular modelling, bioinformatics, drug design, etc
By harnessing the grid approach businesses can achieve cost reduction and better
Grid leverages its extensive information capabilities to support the processing and
storage requirements to complete a task.
Hence grid can provide the maximum resource utilization, providing fastest,
cheapest and maximum satisfaction.
The grid computing for business is based on three factors:
The ability of grid to ensure more cost-effective use of a given amount of computer
A methodology to solve any difficult or large problem by using grid as a ‘large
All the computing resources of a grid such as CPUs, disk storage systems and
software packages can be comparatively and synergistically harnessed and managed
in collaboration towards a common business objective.
E-Governance and the Grid
Service oriented architecture
OGSA – Open grid services architecture
Grid and Cluster Computing – C.S.R. Prabhu, PHI , Jan 2012