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Grid (cloud) computing

Grid computing is combining a bunch of computers from different areas to make a stronger, higher performing, computing system that can access data quicker. Wikipedia has cloud and grid systems as two separate things. It says that grid is more of a supercomputer-like system, but others refer to cloud computing as also being a supercomputer-like system. Even if they are looked at as two different things they both have the concept of using multiple computers for a more efficient way of analyzing or accessing data. Grid computing allows for things that were normally accessed across different systems to be streamlined into one system for easier access. The virtualization of the different IT systems can make accessing data for a company much more efficient. Grid computing can allow for people from different parts of the world to make up a virtual organization that is made up of employees that don't physically have to meet and because the computers connected act as a large system or server so they wouldn't have to spend money on a building that would store a large server nor would they have to be dependent on a third party company to provide that system of computing. 

How it works

The different computers in a cloud or grid computing system has to have some way of easily communicating with each other. This is done by using standards and protocols, which allows the computers in different areas to combine into one powerful system. This is kind of similar to Hyper Text Protocol which also uses standards that allowed for the internet to work by allowing computers across the world to communicate. When they successfully communicate they can act as one virtual supercomputer that allow for the different computer systems to do different tasks. It is basically many computers combining for one large, powerful computer. 

Examples of Grid systems

Google- They use grid computing by having many data systems around the world to combine for one large system. The reason why it benefits them to have these systems spread out around the world instead of having one large system is so that the people near the system can access it quicker. They are not only accessing the data system thats near them but the entire data system of google. The data for users around the world can be accessed much quicker with this kind of system. 

eBay- This organization switched to grid computing because of a past failure. They used to use one large computing system that served their many customers. That system at one time failed which shut their whole system down. So, they made a change that would use a grid system of multiple data systems in different locations combined to one large, powerful system. This improvement allows for one of their data systems to go down because the others would still be running their virtual system at a lower power than if all their systems were up an running. The grid system makes them much less dependent on one piece of hardware by using multiple pieces of hardware to run a virtual system.