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BT Builds Grid Strategy

BT Group plc (NYSE: BTY; London: BTA) gave a peek into its grid computing plans at this weeks Supercomm event in Chicago, at a time when telecom firms are cautiously watching each other to see who will be the first to offer commercial grid-based services to users.

The BT board approved the grid strategy earlier this year, according to Frank Falcon, BT’s ICT portfolio manager, and the telecom firm is now hoping to be one of the first to market with large-scale, grid-based utility computing. But building an infrastructure on this scale is easier said than done (see Telecom Firms Grappling With the Grid).

One of the biggest challenges faced by telecom firms is a lack of effective business models, with utility computing requiring the development of complex, highly scalable IT infrastructure. Customers will then use the telecom firms’ data center resources on an ad-hoc, but extremely CPU-intensive basis. With grid computing linking IT resources across an organization, developing a business system around the infrastructure and figuring out how to make money on it is a real challenge.

So, what is BT doing about this? Falcon says, “We have a number of ‘threads’ running to make sure that we can create secure business models.”

These threads are actually 10 different grid-specific business models. Knowledge, however, is power in the telecom industry and Falcon was only willing to reveal the title of one of these – disaster recovery.

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