IBM wins contract to build Europe-based internet ‘Grid’ networks
Thursday, August 2, 2001
(AFX-Focus) 2001-08-02 07:00 GMT: IBM wins contract to build Europe-based internet ‘Grid’ networks
ARMONK, New York (AFX) – International Business Machines Corp said it has won contracts to build and supply massive storage devices that will hold the information needed for a Europe-based “Grid” network to manage and distribute data and computing power between individual computers.
The “Grid” will allow researchers to combine the power of individual computers to conduct data intensive research, such as human gene and protein studies.
The systems will be based on Globus and Linux software which uses the internet as an underlying communication system. The networks will be based in Edinburgh/Glasgow with other centers throughout Britain and the Netherlands.
At the moment, the World Wide Web allows users to view data on other computers, but running remote applications using software housed on other computers is difficult, according to Tony Hey, who is overseeing the building of the National Grid in the UK. The different kinds of computers using different software formats make that feat nearly impossible for all but the experts, he said.
Grids, on the other hand, will allow computers to act in concert by enabling them to use standard protocols to manipulate data.
John Patrick, IBM’s vice president of Internet Technology, said Grid systems will rival the World Wide Web — another open source technology that uses the Internet as a communications infrastructure — in their impact.
“Grids will have a very profound effect on the world,” said Patrick. “They have the potential to help us create cures for diseases, or engineer and design great products much more quickly.”
“Things that had taken years for computers to do can now take hours to achieve,” said Patrick.
Grids already exist, mainly in government research centers such as NASA, where information such as rocket engine simulations are shared by scientists in laboratories across the country.
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