There are three very connected and widely used terms:

  1. Grid and grid computing
  2. Cluster and cluster computing
  3. Cloud and cloud computing

In many situations, it is not obvious which term to use, as I fail to find an easy to use, laconic, precise set of criteria which would separate those terms.

The reference I know about is

This reference (pretty well cited) provides detailed definitions and a comparison table; however, I find it hard to formulate "laymen's" definitions and criteria based on it. Probably, I am missing some very well-known publication that is used much more frequent.

I am looking for such simple definitions/criteria and reference(s) to ensure it's not an opinion-based question.

  • $\begingroup$ discussion in the comments here is also relevant $\endgroup$
    – Anton Menshov
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 6:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I share the confusion about these terms, so im no expert. To me grid- and cluster computing refer to technically the same thing, i.e. a large computer that has a multitude of computing cores which have to do networking between them. When talking about a cluster it might be implied that several institutions combine their resources, but its still networked computers in the end. Cloud computing to me is connotated with running a program in an external server where you may have no clue where it is, or how big it is etc, mostly in a comercial setting. I agree that the definition is vague at best. $\endgroup$
    – MPIchael
    Commented Jul 3, 2019 at 15:21


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