Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Derek Weeks, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing vs Grid Computing

2008 seems to be a pivotal time where Cloud Computing surpassed Grid Computing (and continues to grow)

Michael Sheehan's GoGrid Blog

The Cloud just got another potential injection of PR from Apple as well with their announcement of MobileMe. Apple has brought a new technology term, the 'Cloud' - previously reserved for developers, IT managers and the like - to the main-stream public. We all know that the term 'Cloud Computing' is relatively new to the Technology buzz. But just how new is it?

I spent some time analyzing search trends of different computing keywords to try to put everything in perspective. Google trends is a nice too that gives insight into broad search patterns.

We all know that the term “Cloud Computing” is relatively new to the Technology buzz. But just how new is it? For starters, I ran a quick comparison of “Cloud Computing,” “Grid Computing” and “Utility Computing”.


The term Grid Computing has been around for a while (even before Google Trends tracking shows it). But as you can see from the graphic above, it is trending downwards. Utility Computing has pretty much remained below the radar in comparison. But, the newcomer Cloud Computing, which made its full entrance into this trend analysis around 2007 is rapidly gaining momentum. 2008 seems to be a pivotal time where it surpassed Grid Computing (and continues to grow).

Cloud computing is relatively new as a server hosting term. People are starting to loosely associate it with traditional hosted server solutions. So to put this all in perspective as well as add some other “hot” keywords in to the mix, I trended the following:

  • Cloud computing
  • Grid computing
  • Dedicated server
  • Colocation
  • Virtualization

The results were quite interesting:


My read on this is as follows:

  • Cloud Computing and Virtualization are the next hot hosting platforms. It is important to keep in mind that the term “Virtualization” can apply to many things, not simply hosting, in fact, Virtualization within the hosting environment is comparable to Cloud Computing. Virtualization has existed for some time, but mainly within a host’s computer (e.g., a desktop). But as Parallels, VMWare, Xen and even Microsoft’s Hyper-V gain momentum as virtualized servers within a hosted environment, this term will continue to grow. See the chart below for further details (VMware is the clear leader but Hyper-V is clearly going to gain market-share quickly).

  • The Dedicated server term is slowly starting to lose ground vs. Virtualization and Cloud Computing, but it is fairly obvious that it is still a term that people know and look for. There are always developers or companies who will ONLY go with a dedicated server for one reason or another. I predict, though, that as they start getting on the virtualization and cloud bandwagons, that this term will continue to erode. Another term “VPS” (Virtual Private Server) is fairly common among hosting solutions but differs from Virtualization in many ways. With a VPS, you share resources with the other clients on a particular server, whereas Virtualized servers (like GoGrid which is built on top of Xen) dedicate RAM and CPU usage to the predefined server instances running on a particular node. To again put it all into perspective, see the chart below. VPS is one of the terms that seems to be remaining steady as a searched term. This is most likely due to the fact that most of the main-stream hosting providers offer VPS hosting as their “bread & butter.”


In general, these terms all seem to be converging, which means only one thing, confusion and clutter within the marketplace. With so many options now available, potential server customers are presented with even more choices, and these choices frequently can’t be directly compared. One can look at RAM allocation, Hard Drive sizes and CPU speeds as sort of a rudimentary measure, but that is where the simple comparisons end. Now one is forced to choose between scalability options, server and data persistence, operating system images, peripherals (like firewalling and load-balancing), data storage, clone-ability…the list goes on. Attempts are being made to standardize these comparisons with check-lists, but since the market is so new and mutating with new entrants and updated feature sets, the IT Professional may be challenged when making decisions.

Lastly to put things all in perspective a bit, I ran a couple of other search terms, comparing “Twitter”  against Cloud, Grid and Utility Computing…the results aren’t surprising (the green line is Twitter):


And put the iPhone into the mix and everything drops off the map (note, this graph is just for Cloud, Grid, Twitter and iPhone - iPhone is the green line below):


Also, the Cloud just got another potential injection of PR from Apple as well with their announcement of MobileMe. To take directly from the source:

“MobileMe stores all your email, contacts, and calendars on a secure online server — or “cloud” — and pushes them down to your iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, and PC. When you make a change on one device, the cloud updates the others.”

Apple has brought a new technology term, the “Cloud”, previously reserved for developers, IT managers and the like to the main-stream public. Watch the cloud continue to grow now almost exponentially, I predict, even down to common-place iconography:


So, how can you “keep your head out of the clouds” with all of this clutter? I can offer the following points to help:

  • Look beyond the hardware - it’s becoming virtualized and virtually upgraded constantly; some companies will tout just one piece of the mix, look at Support, the company’s history, their Terms of Service or Service Level Agreements as other non-tangible measures
  • Don’t just jump on the bandwagon - a solution for one company or competitor may not be the solution for you; shop carefully
  • Get involved with the community - the fact that you are reading this article means that you are doing the right thing in doing your research first. Read blogs and forums as well as attend meetings to talk to end users
  • Don’t over-extend your resources - IT budgets are tight so make your decision based on that. Dedicated servers are frequently premium monthly payments; virtualized hosting can even be price by usage
  • Follow the K.I.S.S. rule - keep things simple; over-engineered network topologies can actually hurt your presence.

Where does GoGrid come into play? For starters, it offers “control in the cloud” by crystallizing real, on-demand servers into an experience that is simple, scaleable and powerful. If you want to visit Cloud Computing in a way that is both understandable and attainable, look no further than GoGrid.

More Stories By Michael Sheehan

Michael Sheehan is the Technology Evangelist for Cloud Computing Infrastructure provider GoGrid and ServePath and is an avid technology pundit. GoGrid is the cloud hosting division of ServePath Dedicated Hosting, a company with extensive expertise and experience in web hosting infrastructure. Follow him on Twitter.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
Michael Sheehan 06/17/08 03:30:10 PM EDT


Thank you for pointing out your earlier research. I tried to come at it a bit differently about how cloud computing is becoming more mainstream, especially in the wake of Apple's "cloud" references at the WWDC keynote.


Guy Tel-Zur 06/13/08 03:20:54 AM EDT

The trends issue was discussed at my blog already in October 2007:

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
“Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online busine...
November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
OnProcess Technology has announced it will be a featured speaker at @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1 - 3, 2016, in Santa Clara, California. Dan Gettens, OnProcess’ Chief Analytics Officer, will discuss how Internet of Things (IoT) data can be leveraged to predict product failures, improve uptime and slash costly inventory stock. @ThingsExpo is an annual gathering of IoT and cloud developers, practitioners and thought-leaders who exchange ideas and insights on topics ranging from Big Data in...