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The NSW Rural Lands Protection Board (RLPB) has splurged $300,000 on sweeping communication and datacentre upgrades, including a state-wide IP network and a fleet of servers with virtualisation software.
Once the domain of monolithic, multimillion-dollar supercomputers from Cray and IBM, HPC (high-performance computing) is now firmly within reach of today's enterprise, thanks to the affordable computing power of clustered standards-based Linux and Microsoft servers running commodity Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron processors. Many early movers are in fact already capitalizing on in-house HPC, assembling and managing small-scale clusters on their own.
When Scott Thompson left Visa to take the CTO role at PayPal in 2005, the Web company's data centre surprised him. "Wait a minute," he recalls saying, "they run a payment system on Linux?"
Station Casinos' CIO and vice president of technology, Marshall Andrew, has two big reasons to be nervous this weekend.
Lots of companies these days are stretching their hardware and energy dollars by consolidating print, file, DNS, and Web servers on virtualization platforms such as VMware. But not many companies boast of running their entire production infrastructure on virtual machines. An exception is Arvato Mobile, a division of Bertelsmann that builds mobile solutions for network operators, media companies, and Internet portals and delivers digital entertainment content to consumers around the globe.
For UPS, grid computing is not about how to get more horsepower for demanding workloads; it's about consolidating, streamlining and using technology to get an edge on the competition.
Despite rolling out new, interactive technologies and experiencing a 43 percent increase in online traffic, the US Open reduced the number of servers it needed to power its Web site from 60 to nine during the 14-day event this year.
While others talk about how utility computing and a services orientation could affect IT delivery, Wachovia Bank is a living demonstration. The financial services giant, which controls assets of about US$541 billion, wins membership to the 2006 Enterprise All-Star Award list for its application virtualization project.
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