ITU-T has just released a new Technology Watch report which examines "Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids and Clouds".
Expanding communication networks, combined with the growth of affordable broadband in developed countries, has enabled organizations to share their computational resources. What originally started as grid computing, temporarily using remote supercomputers or clusters of mainframes to address scientific problems too large or too complex to be solved on in-house infrastructures, has evolved into service-oriented business models that offer physical and virtual resources on a pay as you go basis – as an alternative to often idle, in-house data centers and stringent license agreements.
The report describes the advent of these new forms of distributed computing, notably grid and cloud computing, the applications that they enable, and their potential impact on future standardization.
"Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids and Clouds" is freely available to download at http://www.itu.int/oth/T2301000009/en.