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Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids & Clouds

Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids & Clouds

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Terms such as ‘Cloud Computing’ have gained a lot of attention, as they are used to describe emerging paradigms for the management of information and computing resources. This report describes the advent of new forms of distributed computing, notably grid and cloud computing, the applications that they enable, and their potential impact on future standardization.
Terms such as ‘Cloud Computing’ have gained a lot of attention, as they are used to describe emerging paradigms for the management of information and computing resources. This report describes the advent of new forms of distributed computing, notably grid and cloud computing, the applications that they enable, and their potential impact on future standardization.

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Published by: ITU-T Technology Watch on Jul 21, 2009
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International Telecommunication Union
Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids & Clouds
ITU-T Technology Watch Report 9
 
2009
Terms such as ‘Cloud Computing’ have gained a lot of attention, as they are usedto describe emerging paradigms for the management of information and computingresources. This report describes the advent of new forms of distributed computing,notably grid and cloud computing, the applications that they enable, and theirpotential impact on future standardization.
Telecommunication Standardization Policy DivisionITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector
 
ITU-T Technology Watch Reports
 
ITU-T Technology Watch Reports
are intended to provide an up-to-date assessment of promisingnew technologies in a language that is accessible to non-specialists, with a view to:
 
Identifying candidate technologies for standardization work within ITU.
 
Acknowledgements
This report was prepared by Martin Adolph. It has benefited from contributions and comments fromEwan Sutherland and Arthur Levin.The opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the viewsof the International Telecommunication Union or its membership.This report, along with previous Technology Watch Reports, can be found atwww.itu.int/ITU-T/techwatch.Your comments on this report are welcome, please send them totsbtechwatch@itu.intor join theTechnology Watch Correspondence Group, which provides a platform to share views, ideas andrequirements on new/emerging technologies.The Technology Watch function is managed by the ITU-T Standardization Policy Division (SPD).
 
ITU 2009
 
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, by any means whatsoever, without theprior written permission of ITU.
 
 
ITU-T Technology Watch Reports
 
Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids & Clouds (March 2009)1 
Distributed Computing:Utilities, Grids & Clouds
The spread of high-speed broadbandnetworks in developed countries, thecontinual increase in computing power, andthe growth of the Internet have changedthe way in which society managesinformation and information services.Geographically distributed resources, suchas storage devices, data sources, andsupercomputers, are interconnected andcan be exploited by users around the worldas single, unified resource. To a growingextent, repetitive or resource-intensive ITtasks can be outsourced to serviceproviders, which execute the task and oftenprovide the results at a lower cost. A newparadigm is emerging in which computing isoffered as a utility by third parties wherebythe user is billed only for consumption.This service-oriented approach fromorganizations offering a large portfolio of services can be scalable and flexible.This report describes the advent of newforms of distributed computing, notably gridand cloud computing, the applications thatthey enable, and their potential impact onfuture standardization. The idea of distributing resources within computernetworks is not new. It dates back toremote job entry on mainframe computersand the initial use of data entry terminals.This was expanded first with minicomputers,then with personal computers (PCs) andtwo-tier client-server architecture. Whilethe PC offered more autonomy on thedesktop, the trend is moving back to client-server architecture with additional tiers, butnow the server is not in-house.Not only improvements in computercomponent technology but also incommunication protocols paved the way fordistributed computing. Networks based onSystems Network Architecture (SNA),created by IBM in 1974, and on ITU-T’sX.25, approved in March 1976
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, enabledlarge-scale public and private datanetworks. These were gradually replaced bymore efficient or less complex protocols,notably TCP/IP. Broadband networksextend the geographical reach of distributed computing, as the client-serverrelationship can extend across borders andcontinents.A number of new paradigms and termsrelated to distributed computing have beenintroduced, promising to deliver IT as aservice. While experts disagree on theprecise boundaries between these newcomputing models, the following tableprovides a rough taxonomy.
NewComputingParadigms
 
Cloudcomputing
 
 
Edgecomputing
 
 
Gridcomputing
 
 
Utilitycomputing
 New Services
 
Software as aService (SaaS)
 
 
Infrastructureas a Service(IaaS)
 
 
Platform as aService (PaaS)
 
 
Service-OrientedArchitecture(SOA)
 New orenhancedFeatures
 
Ubiquitousaccess
 
 
Reliability
 
 
Scalability
 
 
Virtualization
 
 
Exchangeabil-ity / Locationindependence
 
 
Cost-effectiveness
 
It is difficult to draw lines between theseparadigms: Some commentators say thatgrid, utility and cloud computing refer tothe same thing; others believe there areonly subtle distinctions among them, whileothers would claim they refer to completelydifferent phenomenon.
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There are no clearor standard definitions, and it is likely thatvendor A describes the feature set of itscloud solution differently than vendor B.The new paradigms are sometimesanalogized to the electric power grid, whichprovides universal access to electricity andhas had a dramatic impact on social andindustrial development.
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