The Observer: The Red And The Blue - InformationWeek

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12/4/2003
05:32 PM
Lou Bertin
Lou Bertin
Commentary
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The Observer: The Red And The Blue

Look ahead to grid computing and open source or you'll be left to deal with a morass of legacy systems, Lou Bertin says.

Which brings us to the question of where those dollars should be deployed. That, in turn, brings us back to IBM. Just as our proud (if sheepish) IBM veteran observed, IBM is in largest part responsible for the melange of platforms out there. To its credit, however, IBM also is showing us the way through that thicket and into a far more promising future.

Most notably, I point to the perceptible advances being made by organizations that have embraced the grid and Linux, both beneficiaries of IBM's relatively early and enthusiastic embrace. If organizations haven't already experienced--or aren't even examining--the benefits of G (as in "grid") forces, especially in combination with Linux, more's the pity. There's our future, writ large.

I don't ascribe particular charitable attributes to IBM, but its prescience in pushing the "open" world unmistakably indicates that it completely grasps both the needs and demands of its enterprise customers, a base of customers who have had it tougher than it needed to be precisely because of the near-absence of choice through the years, especially when it comes to the desktops of the last 15 years.

The grid plays to IBM's strengths (though not exclusively those of IBM) and IBM was early to the party in realizing that a red hat complements almost anything dressed in blue.

G-forces and red hats ... odd icons, but the bet here is that by the time the last column of 2004 is written they'll have been the drivers of enterprise evolution that finally will once again resemble the pace of technology evolution.


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