In 2001 Foster, Kesselman and Tuecke published the “The Anatomy of the Grid” that shortly became the cornerstone for the newly born paradigm of computing. Even at that time, distributed computing was not a completly new model, the cluster computing was there, large laboratories in industry and academia were using parallel computation to solve rather difficult problems, and more important the Web – or the distributed information – was there.
However there’s been something new: the idea of virtualising and sharing already existing resources (be it computing, storage or generic information). It’s been a perfect fit for scientific, non-profit community where joint, collaborative projects are predominant (see CERN LCG, NASA or ANL/BNL/LBNL labs initiatives).
The big shortcoming, though, proved to be the missing business model explained by the non-profit nature of scientific research community. While industry resonated to this idea, the large adoption didn’t occur until late 2007 [http://goo.gl/ce3M]. And the trigger has been the clear definition of business benefit that came out : cost savings and profit.
As grid has already been there for a while, people were looking for a new catchy word and that is cloud. Mentally it is a smart choice and it allows unlimited imagery. When you think of grid – you tend to think of something rigid, sharp, clearly defined. On the other hand cloud is elastic, it comes in different forms and shapes and that’s gold for market as it means you can cloud-wash your existing portfolio and processes to squeeze them in the cloud. And there’s one more big difference, The Grid is supposed to be one and only while the Sky simply cannot have a single Cloud .
Can I have my cloud powered by the global grid?