Difference Between Cluster Computing and Grid Computing -SurfCloudTech

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What exactly the difference between cluster computing and grid computing? With the evolution of cloud computing technology, the history of cloud computing has shown us how this technology has emerged from mainframe computers to grid computing, cluster computing, utility and distributed computing.

The difference between both can be conceptual or technical. We will be discussing this in detail but before understanding the difference between cluster computing and grid computing lets try to find out what are clusters and grids.

What is Cluster Computing

Cluster computing is when a group of independent computers is linked together to perform a specific task where all the machines are connected act like a single entity. The main advantage of using a cluster computing architecture is that the system will be always available.

To understand more clearly, you can take the example of the web hosting sites, when the load on any one of the server increases, the cluster distributes the load across an array of machines so as to provide the service to as many visitors at the same time.

What is Grid Computing

In grid computing, all the computers connected to each other are linked using a loosely connected low-speed networks. In a grid, each node is set to perform completely different tasks or application. All the computers are heterogeneous in nature and distributed geographically at different locations.

Grid computing emerged in the 1990s was merely an evolution of cluster computing. A grid is a connection of parallel nodes to form a computer cluster that runs on OS and software. Grids can also be considered as distributed systems having non-interactive workloads involving large numbers of files.

Difference Between Grid and Cluster Computing

  1. Cluster differs from cloud computing and grid computing is that all the nodes (computers) are connected by local area network in case of grid computing whereas, in grid computing, the computers are connected which are geographically distributed.
  2. Clusters are made of similar types of machines having same hardware whereas grids are a combination of machines which are having multiple hardware.
  3. The fundamental difference between the two is that in grid computing model, each node is relatively dependent on others and problems are mutually served by divide and conquer fashion.
  4. In cluster computing, you have to orchestrate all nodes to work altogether and to provide consistency in resources such as cache and memory.
  5. A grid is a collection of clusters and as the resources are connected all together in a grid, you can move resources from one cluster to another depending on the demands.

When it comes to ease of maintenance, both grid-system and cluster system are not easy to maintain.  When any device fails in a grid system, the whole system is easy to maintain and the whole system is still running as the system is live. There are much issues in grid maintenance than the cluster.

Security of system and data is much more in grid computing, however, danger of lack of control is a bit problem. Cluster computing on another hand uses remote computers in locations and there are chances that data can be stolen. So grid systems are much more secure.

Scalability of the system is the most important aspect of comparison. Cluster computing is just potentiality of computers which are ready to work in the network. Clustered networks are easy to scale than grid networks.

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