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Software Licensing Gridlock

PHILADELPHIA -- Gt'04 -- Software licensing promises to be one of the major challenges for IT managers looking to deploy complex grid infrastructures, according to attendees at this years Gt’04 conference in Philadelphia.

Jeff Mathers, senior consultant in Johnson & Johnson's research innovation division believes that the move to grid computing requires a change in how many application vendors license their products.

He says, “In many cases, they have to move from a model based on a large CPU device, to a more distributed model that could be based on a [specific] site or even regions.”

Much of grid computing’s appeal centers on the fact that it enables companies to harness server, mainframe, and even workstation resources across a wide area. Typically, these deployments employ complex virtualization technologies, and applications need to be shared across a broad range of computing platforms.

Johnson & Johnson has already implemented a grid infrastructure based primarily around Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) machines and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) Solaris servers to support its research. To date, the company’s grid is capable of scaling up to 600 nodes, although this infrastructure will become increasingly complex over the next 18 months. Mathers estimates that the grid could even number several thousand nodes by the end of 2005.

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