Download the authoritative guide: Cloud Computing 2018: Using the Cloud to Transform Your BusinessUntil recently, grid computing was an academic tool, used as a cost-effective means for tackling computationally intensive problems. In disciplines like particle physics and meteorology, when problems involved computations that could run in parallel, grids provided what were essentially cheap supercomputers.
Most enterprise applications, though, are designed for centralized processing, and couldn't easily be diced up and distributed. This partially explains why grids have been slow to take off, despite the hype. Even so, Steve Tuecke, CEO of Univa, a grid software startup, believes grid computing is a case of Internet history repeating itself.
''As with the Internet, it was first adopted by academics. Then, it moved into large, leading-edge companies before finally gaining wider adoption,'' he said.
Wider adoption happened after compelling applications, namely email, took off.
But, if grids stick to this supercomputer model, they will eventually hit an adoption wall. As adoption grows, however, and as the upstart grid industry prepares for the assault on the mid-tier, the concept of grid computing is changing, evolving to encompass more than just distributed computations.