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Grid Goes Open Source

Users have been voicing concern about the complexity and cost of grid deployments for some time. But could open source software provide the answer?

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and software startup Univa Corp. clearly think so. The two firms used this weeks GridWorld conference in Boston to announce a partnership likely to boost the profile of open source grid. (See IBM, Univa Ink Globus Deal.)

Up to now, grid computing reality has not always matched the hype. In theory, the technology lets users share applications and data across their IT infrastructures, but lack of standards and skills, along with costs issues, are cited as major hurdles by users. (See Grid Computing: Baby Steps and Software Licensing Gridlock.)

This prompted industry group GlobusAlliance to develop an open-source middleware toolkit for building grid systems and applications, but, again, many users lack the expertise needed to actually apply this to their own infrastructures. (See Vendors Form Globus Consortium.)

Enter Univa. The startup is currently planning a range of software tools for installing, managing, and configuring the Globus middleware, backed up by services and support. (See Grid Startup Hits the Source.) This week, IBM effectively rubber-stamped this approach by announcing plans to license Univa’s software for its own servers and internal systems.

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