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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Grid Technology Making Advances

(Via News.Com) Two initiatives in the coming weeks will seek to make computing grids,where far-flung computers act as a single machine, more widespread in the business world. In May, the Enterprise Grid Alliance plans to release its first recommendations for making grids more palatable to businesses. The guidelines will address a range of technical issues,from security to a utilitylike pricing system for buying computing power in industry-standard increments.

The Globus Alliance has released the Globus Toolkit 4.0 for writing applications that run on several, disparate machines shortly. These two recommendations aim to address computing tasks suited to the business realm rather than academia, where computing grids have been used for years. These efforts seek to establish industrywide grid standards. The grid computing industry today is roughly at the same stage the Internet was about 10 years ago, experts say. Before commercial customers can share their computing resources more effectively across widespread networks, they need a wide variety of standardized products. Currently, most examples of grid computing are done using vendor-specific tools within a single company, said Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata."We're in the stage of development where you build a grid, you don't buy it, because these are all tools," Eunice said. "It's commercially viable, but you still have to put a lot of things together." Early examples show that grids are a compelling way to save money on hardware, though they're still for the technologically adventurous.Few challenges exist for grid computing, such as software licensing schemes designed for software that runs on a single machine. Other challenges include:
- the lack of grid-ready packaged applications and the lack of common charge-back methods for pricing computing services.
- Assurances of security and reliability of computing grids are also required before people will be willing to share the servers and storage owned by an individual company department.
- The biggest challenges facing the adoption of grids have more to do with people. -unlike academia, departments within large corporations are not accustomed to sharing their hardware resources or data with other groups.
- While grid technology we might have mastered – the cultural change is the biggest challenge

Category : Grid Computing
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