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Executive Interview: IBM's Stuart Feldman On Grid Computing

IT Utility Pipeline editor Kelley Damore spoke with IBM researcher Dr. Stuart Feldman about the future of the Web and how grid computing and on-demand computing will play a role in its future. Feldman is the head of IBM's Internet...

IT Utility Pipeline editor Kelley Damore spoke with IBM researcher Dr. Stuart Feldman about the future of the Web and how grid computing and on-demand computing will play a role in its future. Feldman is the head of IBM's Internet Technology division and leads IBM's WebAhead project, a team of technologists charged with predicting how the Internet will transform our lives 10 and 20 years into the future. Feldman is also this year's chair of the WWW2004 conference, which starts today in New York. The conference celebrates more than 10 years since the birth of the World Wide Web at the CERN physics laboratory in Switzerland.

IT Utility Pipeline: How do you see grid computing leveraging the vision of the Web?

Feldman: If you go back to the roots of the Internet, sharing applications was what they were doing. Web services and grid services today are doing the same thing. In terms of grid, we are at build-out time. We're getting the standards to perform well and work well. And we're working on security issues. This is the hard engineering time. And it is not a question of whether it will happen but how fast it will get there.

At IBM we have a volunteer internal grid. There are 350 servers that are not permanently assigned and can be used for a grid. The interfaces are standard and because they are inside the company we don't have to worry about security. We're seeing other companies do the same thing and use a grid internally for distribution sharing and management of services.

Web services are another important aspect here. Web services are getting things done for companies and individuals so there isn't a need for a lot of intervention. We're talking a lot about this at the conference -- the semantic Web. The ability to have the right tags on data so when you do a search you are getting the correct information back. One-fourth or more of tags relate to semantics. This is a very important change.

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