Grid Computing: A Very Brief History
Technology is evolutionary in nature. Each new development is built on other technologies. Grid computing is no different. The evolution of networking technology, and Internet development and acceptance are the critical foundation pieces for grid computing. Using Hobbes’ Internet Timeline you can see how network technology has been developing over the last 50 years. The earliest reference I have found to “grid computing” is Multics (a UNIX ancestor) in 1965. But it wasn’t until 1996 that the Globus project was launched and the label “grid computing” coined.
Since then there have been some public projects (SETI@home is the one most people recognize), academic and research projects (here is list), a few commercial efforts (some are doing well and some have folded), and private efforts (Google is making oodles using search technology built on a private enterprise grid). Grid computing is definitely maturing and gaining acceptance. But there is a major difference between what the “official” definition of grid computing is versus the generally accepted definition. I will discuss that in a later post.
Grid on the March