We saw several grid computing announcements in the last couple of days.
Of course, Gateway stole the show. In "Gateway makes store PCs work overtime," Ian Fried writes the following.
Rather than continue to let the thousands of PCs in its stores sit largely unused, Gateway plans to announce Tuesday a project that will let companies tap into those PCs for large computing projects.
Gateway's network of 8,000 PCs can deliver 14 teraflops (trillions of calculations per second) of power, very little of which is being used for in-store demos. That makes Gateway's available computing resources equivalent, at least in raw computing power, to some of the largest supercomputers.
This is plain wrong. You all know that this number of 14 teraflops is meaningless. It's just the addition of the peak speed of all the PCs -- never reached anyway on individual PCs. You need specialized software to work efficiently with a grid. And two companies are releasing new products to power grids.
On Monday, Avaki rolled out what it believes is the first Java-based data grid software for enterprise-class IT environments.
Avaki, based in Cambridge, Mass., ported its Data Grid 3.0 to J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition), and designed the software to ease data access along with what company officials feel is a marked improvement in reducing the complexity and cost of integrating infrastructure products. The company will be targeting the product at several commercial markets including the life sciences, manufacturing, and oil and gas, officials said.
Another software company jumped on the stage on Monday.
Extending the grid concept to media delivery, Kontiki on Monday introduced Grid Delivery Server software designed to tap unused storage space on existing servers to help push video and large documents around corporate networks.
The Grid Server software expands Kontiki's existing DMS (Delivery Management System) beyond networked PCs to include servers, thereby bolstering network scalability and allowing enterprises to build out delivery grids using clients and servers, according to Mark Szelenyi, director of enterprise marketing at Kontiki, based in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Good luck to Avaki and Kontiki! They'll need plenty to face the powers of IBM, HP or Sun.
Sources: Ed Scannell and Cathleen Moore, InfoWorld, December 9, 2002; Ian Fried, CNET News.com, December 9, 2002
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