Gateway Mulls Future Of Grid Computing Service

Gateway's decision to shutter its retail stores has thrown the future of its Grid computing service into question.
Gateway's recent decision to shutter its retail stores has thrown the future of its Grid computing service into question.

"Our strategy is still being determined, so it would be premature to chat about it at this time," said Gateway senior public relations manager Ted Ladd. "In the short term, all customers on the Gateway Grid will be moved to our secure Grid at our data center."

Ladd said the focus of the company's efforts is to find the best way to continue the program, suggesting that its continuation is not in question at this time.

Gateway's Grid computing service was launched amid much fanfare in December 2002. The service pooled 6,800 computers in Gateway retail stores across the U.S. to create a virtual supercomputer that ranked among the 10 largest supercomputers in the world by processing power. It was also hailed as a creative way for Gateway to squeeze more revenue out of its retail operations.

The service has 20 customers, among them the American Diabetes Association and Rapid Prototypes. Most are life sciences or manufacturing companies, Ladd said.

Rapid Prototypes president Brian Von Herzen said he hasn't heard from Gateway yet on its plans for the service.

"I haven't heard any news on this yet," he said.

Rapid Prototypes uses the service to speed up the design of backplanes for next-generation optical switching equipment, while saving money on hardware purchases by renting only the amount of compute power it needs.

The Gateway service is powered by United Device's Grid MP Alliance platform.






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