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EC Goes for the Grid

There has been plenty of vendor hype about the use of grid computing in industry, but governments are still the main drivers of grid deployments.

Tomorrow, for example, the European Commission will officially take the wraps off 12 new grid computing projects, which are designed to bring the technology out of the laboratory and into the workplace. Last week, the EC announced $64 million worth of funding to bring together universities, research institutes, and companies across Europe in developing grids (see EC Boosts Grid Computing).

The new EC projects include Simdat, which is targeted at grid applications in the automotive, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries; and the Akogrimo scheme to support mobile communications and IPv6.

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) have been among those touting the benefits of enterprise grids for some time. Earlier this year, the three joined forces with a number of other vendors to form the Enterprise Grid Alliance, a consortium devoted to spreading the grid gospel amongst businesses (see Sun Joins Grid Group).

But, for the most part, industry is still getting its head around grid computing, which enables compute, network, and storage resources to be shared right across an organizations IT infrastructure. Even in the telecom sector, which is potentially one of the biggest beneficiaries of the technology, firms are coming up against hurdles such as security, performance, and lack of effective business models (see Telecom Firms Grappling With the Grid).

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