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Jun 20, 2008 Commentary
Grid computing and e-science: a view from inside

by Stefano Cozzini

My intention is to analyze how, where and if grid computing technology is truly enabling a new way of doing science (so-called ‘e-science’). I will base my views on the experiences accumulated thus far in a number of scientific communities, which we have provided with the opportunity of using grid computing. I shall first define some basic terms and concepts and then discuss a number of specific cases in which the use of grid computing has actually made possible a new method for doing science. I will then present a case in which this did not result in a change in research methods. I will try to identify the reasons for these failures and analyze the future evolution of grid computing. I will conclude by introducing and commenting the concept of ‘cloud computing’, the approach offered and provided by major industrial actors (Google/IBM and Amazon being among the most important) and what impact this technology might have on the world of research.

Volume 7 • Issue 02 • 2008