CFO Europe Selects Grid as a Top Technology of 2002

JRP Reflecting

Reflection – written December 29 , 2001

CFO Europe magazine selected Grid Computing as a Top Technology of 2002. In the story, the magazine reviews ten technologies which they believe to be most important. They say that IT budgets are tight, but there are some technologies that companies can’t ignore. Anthony Sibillin reveals what every savvy CFO should have on their radar screen.

I was pleased to be able to talk to CFO Europe about what IBM is doing in a number of key areas — especially in Grid Computing — and they included some of my comments which I have appended below. The full story is here.

Excerpt . . .

3. GRID COMPUTING

GRID AND BEAR IT

Over the past few months, IBM has been busy unveiling several iterations of its “Grid” computing architecture, a system that tackles complex problems by harnessing the processing power of many computers connected by a high-speed
network.

In its early days, such power is likely to come in handy for genetic research, weather modelling and other traditional supercomputing tasks. IBM is building a Grid for America’s National Science Foundation, which will perform 13.6 trillion calculations per second, making it 1,000 times faster than IBM’s chess-playing Deep Blue. According to John Patrick, vice-president of internet technology at the US computer giant, Grid computing should begin entering mainstream corporate computing next year. Among the sectors that have an immediate need for Grid are the pharmaceutical, energy and car industries.

For firms that shy away from the expense of building their own Grid, IBM points out that its Grid can be used like a power plant, dispensing services as needed. Patrick says the business case for such a utility-like approach is a strong one for two reasons. First, the Grid offers economies of scale. Second, companies will be spared the unpredictable performance of public networks, such as the internet, because the Grid is designed to handle spikes in demand.

While IBM’s own global services unit is a logical candidate to operate a Grid utility, it faces competition from niche start-ups like Cluster Solutions of France (financial services) and Swiss-based Gridcomputer (life sciences).

Note: This was originally posted at ibm.com/patrick on 12/29/2001 but there is so much going on in the Grid Computing space I thought it was worth adding to my weblog as part of my web site consolidation project.

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