Grid Use Grows Despite Confusion Over What It Is - InformationWeek

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Hardware & Infrastructure
11:08 AM

Grid Use Grows Despite Confusion Over What It Is

More than half of companies recently surveyed say they're sharing data using grid-computing techniques, but you may not want to take them at their word--20% of companies polled by Forrester Research say they're confused about what "grid computing" means.

According to Forrester's online survey of IT executives at 149 large North American companies, 57% say they're using grid computing to share data across computers and company sites. Another 53% say they're using it in conjunction with back-office software such as databases or other servers. Just a quarter of respondents say they're using grid computing for its invented purpose: To shore up the crunching of scientific or engineering calculations. Nearly half (48%) are using it for financial analysis and modeling.

General Consensus bar chartThe term in recent years has been slapped on a host of activities that used to be described as distributed computing. That could explain the one-fifth of respondents who say grid computing has "different meanings." Thirty-eight percent say they think grid computing refers to clusters of computers, and 32% say it means sharing data across machines. Thirty percent say grid computing means massively parallel processing.

An InformationWeek Research survey of 333 business-technology executives' IT priorities in the second quarter of this year finds lukewarm enthusiasm for the technology. Some 87% of respondents say grid computing isn't on their list of projects this year, according to the survey. But the number of companies planning grid projects is growing; 13% of respondents are planning work on grid computing this year, up from 8% during the second quarter of last year.

What does grid computing mean to your company? Let us know at the address below.

Aaron Ricadela
Senior Writer
[email protected]

The Grid bar chart
The Grid
How does your company use grid computing?

Companies rely on grid computing to manage business applications such as SAP, Siebel, or a supply-chain app. Financial analysis and boosting numeric processing also are popular uses. Two in five sites that Forrester Research surveyed say grid computing supports an app that needs extra numeric-processing capability, such as a financial-services Web site.

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