IBM Grows The Grid

The company's Grid and Grow is intended to help enterprises get going on distributed computing at an entry-level price.
IBM hopes its new grid offering will be an easy entry point for firms still unsure about adopting the technology.

The company's Grid and Grow is a packaged set of hardware, software and services that includes IBM's BladeCenter Grid Hardware and a choice of grid scheduler, operating system (Linux, AIX or Windows) and services to help get the grid properly enabled for a particular environment.

''It's been hard for people to figure out how to get started and that's what this package is stressing,'' said Tim Dougherty, director of BladeCenter marketing at IBM. ''We're going after people that have been thinking about it but were holding back. It's designed to let you start small and then expand as your needs expand.''

Dougherty explained that the size of a company is not a determining factor whether or not they need a grid. According to Dougherty grid need is based on computing needs, not on the size of company at all.

Though Grid and Grow includes a choice of operating systems, Dougherty said that, in general, Linux has been the choice of most customers on grids.

''Customers have chosen Linux mostly because of cost efficiency and the set of standards that's been driven around grid -- which is a set of open standards -- and Linux is very much in that gate,'' Dougherty said.

Intel will be promoting Grid and Grow through education initiatives that will be pushed through its channel partners.

''We see grid computing becoming a key strategic element in the alignment between business and IT,'' said Robert Fogel, director of grid strategy and business development for Intel, in a statement.

''Grid solutions based on interoperable building blocks, such as IBM eServer BladeCenter, facilitate IT infrastructure that is easier to manage, lower in TCO and is less complex.'' Pricing for IBM's Grid and Grow starts at $49,000.

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