Grids Will Transform Computing, Predicts IBM Senior Executive

Pins Future of e-Business on Grid Computing

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NEW YORK - 29 Nov 2001: A senior IBM executive today told a conference of more than 100 leading management consulting professionals that the emerging technology of grid computing will transform their industry, and business in general. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM Server Group Vice President of Technology and Strategy, said that grid computing will enable unprecedented levels of collaboration between businesses by enabling them to share computing resources -- such as applications, data and computing power -- allowing individuals to access computing "on tap" from any location. This will lead to a more advanced computing model based on Internet technologies and open standards, allowing companies to pool resources, reduce fixed IT costs through utility, build more resilient self-managing infrastructure and create secure virtual organizations.

Addressing Kennedy Information's Consulting Summit 3.0 in New York City, Wladawsky-Berger said, "Each stage of the Internet's evolution has been cumulative. Where the Internet today is a vast repository of content that enabled e-business, the next major stage will leverage Grid computing -- turning the Internet itself into a computing platform. Think back to 1994-95. The Web was on the horizon and clients were looking for focused projects to get their feet wet. This is the same type of opportunity."

The challenges of Grid computing, says Wladawsky-Berger, include:

"Grid computing is in some ways like the World Wide Web. The Web provides access to a world of content over the Internet through open standards that let the casual user connect without having to know where the resource is located." added Wladawsky-Berger. "Just as the user looks at the Internet and sees content via the World Wide Web, the user looking at a Grid sees essentially one, large virtual computer built on open protocols with everything shared -- applications, data, processing power, storage, etc. all through the Internet."

"Service providers will have to adapt as computing becomes available over a grid," Wladawsky-Berger said. "We believe that one of the chief ways that customers will access the infrastructure is through e-business-on-demand, the ability to simply plug into an IT utility for the computing resources you need -- either all your resources, or to cover peak demand."

"As the Internet emerges in this more powerful form, businesses will look to the consulting industry to understand the opportunity of Grid computing. Today that may be lower costs through resource sharing within or between organizations. Next year customers might respond to the time to market advantage that will be offered through e-business-on-demand services. Regardless of the economic winds, the combination of market demand, technology and open standards will deliver a computing platform with near-limitless resources available anywhere to anyone authorized to use them."

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