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Subject: Re: [OMPI users] Theoretical Differences: Cluster Computing, Distributed Computing, Grid Computing
From: Amit Kumar Saha (amitsaha.in_at_[hidden])
Date: 2007-12-19 11:37:01

On 12/19/07, Aurelien Bouteiller <bouteill_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> I have quite different definitions than Jeff.
> Distributed computing is encompassing all the "parallel computing"
> models, including clusters, grids, master-slave, shared memory...
> Everything that basically implies using several collaborating
> processes to solve a problem (whatever collaborating means, network,
> shared memory, RPC, data dependencies... ).
> Cluster computing simply refers simply to computations that occurs on
> a cluster type machine. A cluster is -usually- a distributed memory
> computer based on commodity hardware (but counter examples exist). It
> may include commodity network (like giga ethernet) or more specific
> nics (like myrinet, infiniband, quadrics and so on). As said Jeff,
> usually the best way to use such a machine is to have a kind of
> tightly coupled application.
> Grid computing refers to gathering several clusters (and sometimes
> large databases and scientific instruments like telescopes that
> generate data) and use them altogether. Compared to a cluster or a
> supercomputer, this introduces several issues related to password
> administration, user domains, firewall bypass, several different
> scheduler collaborating, and quite slow network between the sites.

I understand that a major difference between Distributed Computing and
Grid Computing is that whereas we *usually* have a set of trusted
nodes in the former, in the latter case, we generally have
geographically dispersed computers which use a separate authentication
mechanism to come together and form a Grid.

Please correct me if I am wrong


Amit Kumar Saha
Writer, Programmer, Researcher