Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

One On One With IBM Grid Guru

Al Bunshaft, vice president, grid computing sales for IBM, recently spoke with IT Utility Pipeline Editor Kelley Damore about the current implementations of grid computing in commercial enterprises and why he thinks one in five business could deploy grid in the next two years.

IT Utility Pipeline: Can you explain the promise of grid computing in layman's terms?

Bunshaft: Grid is about the coordination of resources over a network. It is really the evolution of distributed computing. Think about the Internet: for the first 10 years we were providing a base of standards that worked with one another to coordinate resources. [Now with grid] we are developing a similar set of common standards for the coordination of resources for common workloads.

IT Utility Pipeline: Grid had its roots in scientific and academic communities. How does this technology translate into commercial environments?

Bunshaft: IBM is very focused on commercial adoption and on applications that can deliver value today. A logical starting point is vertical applications. We have been focused on business analytics, engineering and design and R&D. For more horizontal applications, we've also been working [in areas such as] government development where a country may develop a grid for economic development. We are also looking at enterprise optimization, [where an organization] can build an analytical compute backbone -- a single common infrastructure which can be utilized on-demand. Applications well suited for [grid today] are financial, industrial, life sciences and pharmaceutical areas.

  • 1