Launching Karachi Economist

MediaXpress Inc is all set to launch Karachi Economist, a new service that will provide easy and open access to high-quality multilingual academic output in a single, cross-searchable portal. “A wonderful treasure trove of easy-to-find resources”.

Karachi Economist will support free markets, globalization, free immigration, and will only accept the propositions of Keynesian economics which deemed more “reasonable”.

Their primary focus will be on World Business Politics and Economics, but they will also runs regular sections on science and technology as well as on books and the arts. They will support increase in government health and education spending and also their “stimulus” plans for economic development during recession. With roots in classical liberalism, Karachi Economist will disfavor any government interference in either social or economic activity.

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Cloud and Grid Computing – Are they Same?

After having several discussions with people regarding cloud and grid computing, I have come to know one thing for sure that there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the distinction as well as the similarity between ‘Grid’ and ‘Cloud’ computing. Therefore, I think I should write my two cents about what I know of this topic. In this blog, I will touch upon what a ‘Grid’ and ‘Cloud’ is, how they fundamentally differ from each other and then moving on to briefly discussing the evolution of Cloud from Grid.
· What is Grid Computing?

Simply stated, ‘Grid computing’ is a collection of multiple computer resources that are utilized to perform multiple tasks to achieve a common computational goal.

Note that these multiple tasks are executed in parallel.

What is Cloud Computing?

‘Cloud Computing’ is the concept of providing services over the Internet whereby shared resources (Infrastructure and Platform), software, and information are provided to users on demand.

How ‘Cloud’ differs from the ‘Grid’?

The most prominent similarity (and probably the main reason why there is a prevailing confusion about these two) is that both of them use virtualization and several shared resources to execute tasks. But the following things should be noted to understand how these two differ conceptually:

1. Grid computing is focused towards solving a computational problem whereas Cloud computing is focused towards providing ‘On Demand’ services.
Types of services provided by Cloud Infrastructure
a) SaaS (Software as a Service)
b) PaaS ( Platform as a Service)
c) IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

2. Grid Computing is possible only with applications that can be parallelized whereas Cloud computing does not have any such restriction.

3. In Grid, resource allocation is primarily controlled by the contract between the user (known as Virtual Organization) and allocator (known as Admin Domain). Therefore a user, irrespective of his requirement will always get the resources ONLY as agreed upon in the contract.
On the other hand in Cloud there is no such restriction. Cloud supports ‘On-Demand’ provisioning as it follows the principle of ‘Pay as you go’. Based on the user’s requirements Cloud will allocate the required resources thus enabling easy scalability in order to achieve the desired SLA.

4. Grid computing CAN BE A part of Cloud computing. This is explained in the next section.

Grid as a part of Cloud

Cloud computing is a step further from Grid computing in a way that Cloud computing encompasses Grid computing. Cloud computing essentially consists of a

a. Client
b. Middle tier, which performs the required provisioning/computation/calculation
c. Cloud database (Optional)
d. Utility Computing – this enables payment for only the resources you use on the grid by computing the resource usage

Grid computing will essentially be the middle-tier of a Cloud computing set-up.

5. Theoretically, Cloud is considered to be infinite pool of resources while GRID might exhaust due to finite resource consideration.
6. Conceptually, Cloud is built for large number of users having small allocation requests while GRID is for small number of users having large allocation requests.

Conclusion

Although Grid computing allows higher computation using a network of desktops rather than super computers or servers, Cloud brought in a new wave where network of computers were used to provide high end services to the end user. Therefore, Cloud is here to stay.

Therefore, when there is a need for a technology to deliver infrastructure, software and platform services in a seamless, cost-effective and time-effective way, Cloud computing is the solution.

However, even with the many advantages this technology offers organizations are apprehensive to adopt and implement Cloud for its services due to looming issues like data security. Therefore, with efficient requirement and feasibility analysis, Cloud implementations can serve to provide businesses with cost-effective alternatives for their business and technology needs.

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