IBM to boost grid capabilities

Endorsing grid computing as a means to better utilize IT resources, IBM Corp. plans to add grid computing technologies to its operating systems and WebSphere application server beginning later this year, an IBM official said at the Enterprise Linux Forum conference here on Thursday.

The company will add technologies from the Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA), a Web services-based grid computing platform being developed by the Globus Project. Grid purports to pool multiple, distributed IT resources into a single utility, or grid, for processing of data regardless of where the consumer of the data resides.

"It's really distributed computing over a network of heterogeneous resources, obviously enabled by open standards," said Daniel Powers, vice president of grid computing strategy and technology at IBM, in Armonk, N.Y.

Platforms to receive OGSA technologies include the Linux and AIX operating environments as well as IBM eSeries mainframes, Powers said. The company already has fitted AIX and Linux with grid-compliant protocols. Additionally, IBM plans to add OGSA capabilities to its DB2 database platform as well.

IBM expects other players in the industries to incorporate OGSA capabilities into their products as well, Powers said.

OGSA technologies will run on WebSphere later in 2004 and be more completely integrated into the platform afterward, Powers said.

Powers touted grid as part of IBM's "On Demand" computing strategy intended to enable enterprises to have integrated IT processes and quick responses to customer demand, market opportunities, or external threats.

An Oracle Corp. official also touted grid at the conference Thursday, saying Oracle planned to build new functionality and support new hardware to make it easier for customers to deploy grids. The official, Brajesh Goyal, Redwood, Shores, Calif.-based Oracle's principal product manager for server technologies, said he could not yet be specific about the new functionality.

Goyal emphasized that Oracle already supports grid deployments in its Oracle9i database and application server.

"The grid is going to revitalize how computation and management of information is going to be done," Goyal said.

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