Vendors Gird for Grid Forum

IBM and Sun show off new grid computing accomplishments as the grid community jockeys for standardization
Posted September 12, 2006

Clint Boulton

It's good to be a purveyor of grid computing software this week.

IBM (Quote, Chart), Sun Microsystems (Quote, Chart) are among the vendors trotting out new grid computing (define) offerings today as part of the GridWorld conference in Washington, D.C.

IBM will announce Tivoli Dynamic Workload Broker, new software from its Batch-on-Grid portfolio that helps customers virtualize their grid computing environments and manage their data from a single console on the fly without manual tinkering.

Such a tool is particularly attractive in financial services and insurance companies that use batch functions to pipe computing jobs to queues and schedule them for processing; the technique has been used since the 1950s.

Grid Computing general has seen an uptick in recent years. Software advances from vendors like IBM, Sun Microsystems, Platform Computing and others are helping companies leverage existing servers and gear instead of buying new hardware.

The Workload Broker follows IBM's May launch of Batch-on-Grid, a software package that creates batch workloads within grid systems, and then uses autonomic software to schedule and maintain those workloads.

The Broker also expands the IBM scheduling and workload management portfolio, which includes the Tivoli Workload Scheduler, Tivoli Workload Scheduler LoadLeveler and WebSphere Extended Deployment.

The new software will be available worldwide electronically on October 6 and on disk on October 27, 2006. Pricing for the Broker will be determined.

IBM today also boosted its Grid Ecosystem program to help IBM business partners and software vendors to win new customers, adding a new Grid and Grow Test Drive offering for reseller partners.

In this program, IBM partners may access IBM Business Partner Innovation Centers (BPIC) to demonstrate grid computing software to clients. Perks include assistance in providing technical and industry education and sales enablement.

Sun, one of IBM's greatest grid rivals, this week is showing off its own grid acumen at GridWorld through a fresh partnership with chipmaker AMD.

Looking to accelerate the pace of bringing products to market, AMD has selected the Sun Grid Compute Utility, which allows customers to procure grid computing as a utility at $1 per hour per CPU, to test and simulate new processors.

AMD said in a statement that, rather than purchase additional infrastructure to conduct processor simulations, AMD opted for Sun's grid.

The move seems to be a natural fit; Sun's grid is powered by Sun Fire servers based on AMD's Opteron processors.

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