Grid and Cloud computing
The pilot project in five African universities from Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Zimbabwe allowed researchers and students from participating institutions to reconnect with the experts globally. With the Brain Gain project, it is our intention to leverage HP’s distributed computing technology to support most innovative education projects and to create an e-infrastructure for education and research in Africa and the Arab States region.
Grid computing is a hardware and software infrastructure that clusters and integrates high-end computer networks, databases and scientific instruments from multiple sources to form a virtual environment in which users can work collaboratively.
It requires software to divide and apportion pieces of a programme among several computers, sometimes up to several thousands. Grid computing can also be regarded as distributed and large-scale cluster computing. It can be small, i.e. confined to a network of computer workstations within a corporation, or it can be a large, public collaboration across many companies or networks. See for instance the project implemented by UCAD in Senegal.
Cloud computing, on the other hand, is internet (‘cloud’)-based use of computer technology. It is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the internet. Users do not need any knowledge of, expertise in or control over, the technology infrastructure in the ‘cloud’ that supports them.