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Emergence of the Academic Computing Clouds

Ubiquity, Volume 2008 Issue August | BY Kemal A. Delic , Martin Anthony Walker 


Full citation in the ACM Digital Library

Computational grids are very large-scale aggregates of communication and computation resources enabling new types of applications and bringing several benefits of economy-of-scale. The first computational grids were established in academic environments during the previous decade, and today are making inroads into the realm of corporate and enterprise computing.

Very recently, we observe the emergence of cloud computing as a new potential super structure for corporate, enterprise and academic computing. While cloud computing shares the same original vision of grid computing articulated in the 1990s by Foster, Kesselman and others, there are significant differences.

In this paper, we first briefly outline the architecture, technologies and standards of computational grids. We then point at some of notable examples of academic use of grids and sketch the future of research in grids. In the third section, we draw some architectural lines of cloud computing, hint at the design and technology choices and indicate some future challenges. In conclusion, we claim that academic computing clouds might appear soon, supporting the emergence of Science 2.0 activities, some of which we list shortly.

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