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A computational grid is a loose network of computers linked to perform grid computing. In a computational grid, a large computational task is divided up among individual machines, which run calculations in parallel and then return results to the original computer. These individual machines are nodes in a network, which may span multiple administrative domains and may be geographically distant. Each of the nodes may be thought of as a discrete system that can perform work and has access to a network. Computational grids are often more cost-effective than supercomputers of equal computing power.
Computational grids are sometimes mischaracterized as useful only for calculation/computational tasks, but in fact they are able to handle many research projects that require a lot CPU time, a lot of memory or the ability to communicate in real time. In some of these cases, supercomputers do not have the capacity to solve these needs. A computational grid offers a convenient way to use many devices in combination.
A computational grid shares some properties with the cloud in cloud computing.