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Suppliers Gird Grids

Sun, Amazon, and Unisys will all overhaul their hosted storage grid offerings over the next few weeks in an attempt to lure skeptical users. (See Enterprises Still Not Sold on Grid.)

Users have already cited cost issues and service level uncertainty as big grid computing turn-offs, although vendors are now launching a fresh attempt to draw in hosted customers. (See Gridding My Teeth.)

Today, for example, Sun extended the reach of its pay-on-demand grid computing service beyond the U.S and added new features to the platform. The initiative is now available to users in 20 other countries, including India, China, and the U.K. (See Sun Unveils Grid Portal and Sun Steps Up Grid.)

At least one analyst told Byte and Switch that it will take more than vendor spiel to get CIOs to sign on the dotted line for a hosted grid service. "People understand the concept but there are still not enough pre-built applications or documented case studies to lower peoples' confusion thresholds," says Michael Dortch, director at the Robert Frances Group.

These sentiments were echoed by Gordon Haff, senior analyst at Illuminata. "It's still pretty early days for this type of utility computing -- it's more hype than reality," he says.

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