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IBM Plans Packages To Drive Grid-Computing Technology

Offerings aim to help customers get more from their IT infrastructures.

As companies continue to look for ways to squeeze more capacity and speed out of their IT infrastructures, IBM continues to plant the seeds for its computing-on-demand strategy. The company Monday introduced its latest utility computing gambit--grid computing products and services that specifically target the aerospace, automotive, financial markets, government, and life sciences industries.

Across all industries, the grid concept of tying together processing power and storage into a centralized pool of dynamically allocated IT resources is central to getting the most use out of IT investments. For the aerospace and automotive industries, IBM is offering design collaboration and engineering design grids to help companies share data with their partners to speed products and ideas to market. For financial markets, IBM is offering analytics acceleration and IT optimization grids to increase computational throughput and exploit underutilized resources.

IBM will offer an information-access grid for government agencies looking to improve information sharing and simplify data access. IBM's two grids for the life-sciences industry are likewise for analytics acceleration and information accessibility. For companies that don't fall specifically into any of these industries, IBM is also offering grid innovation workshops--either at IBM facilities or customer sites--to help customers understand what technology is available, what types of applications are best suited to run on a grid, and how much a grid initiative could cost. The workshops are priced starting at $50,000.

"These offerings will let more businesses expand the use of grid technologies to hook multiple departments together for greater utilization from an IT perspective," says Dan Powers, VP of IBM's grid-computing strategy. The cost of getting a grid project off the ground varies, depending upon the amount resources being tied together. Powers says he's seen companies spend $100,000 to $200,000 on pilot projects to put one or two applications on a grid architecture.

IBM also announced Monday that it is partnering with Avaki Corp., DataSynapse Inc., Entropia Inc., Platform Computing Inc., and United Devices Inc. to supply the distributed computing software required to make grids work.

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