IDC Sees Big Opportunity for Grid Computing

The Grid computing market is 'on the verge of major expansion,' according to a new IDC report.
The Grid computing market is "on the verge of major expansion," according to a new IDC report.

The worldwide Grid computing market is expected to exceed $12 billion in revenue by 2007 across high performance computing (HPC) technical markets and commercial enterprises, IDC says.

"We believe that Grids hold significant potential as the next step in the evolution of the IT environment, especially as the technology breaks out from the HPC space and becomes more broadly applied in commercial data centers," states John Humphreys, research manager of workstations and high performance computing systems at IDC. "We expect Grid adoption to take root next in the generalized IT infrastructure and to see early adoption begin in areas that are not mission critical."

IDC attributes the projected revenue increase to a number of factors, including the maturation and standardization of Grid software, the drive for efficient use of IT infrastructure by end users, the expanded awareness of Grids, and the expansion of the market beyond traditional HPC applications and users.

The study, Role of Grid Computing in the Coming Innovation Wave, says the Grid market is beginning to split into three distinct segments: compute, data, and optimization. The majority of current Grid implementations are in the compute space, with a small set of applications, IDC says, while emerging opportunities are primarily focused on the pooling and allocation of resources across a variety of business services.

While the opportunity is a big one, there are a number of challenges, IDC says, with end users most often citing the cultural and organizational concerns associated with resource sharing.

"Today, many, if not most, HPC users are currently exploring Grids in order to improve communications between institutions, manage resources within an institution, and to maximize resource utilization," says Chris Willard, IDC's research vice president of workstations and high performance computing systems. "To size such an opportunity, we included all computer systems connected to any Grid as part of the revenue value."

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