The Globus Consortium, founded by Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, and Sun Microsystems, announced today plans to design and market commercial grid-computing software applications. The consortium will promote technical standards to make grid computing a viable option for businesses. With a quarter million dollar investment from each company, the organization is sufficiently funded to begin operations. Other contributing participants include Nortel Networks, Univa Corp., and private individuals.
Grid computing uses the Internet to connect high-end computing resources to solve complex scientific and research problems without requiring individual sites to maintain big iron hardware. The distributed network grants authorized users access to significant computing resources.
The new consortium comes out of a decade-old project, including the Globus Toolkit that was developed at Argonne National Labs. Members of the original Globus project now serve on the consortium’s board of directors. The Globus Toolkit open source standards for implementation of grid computing networks will be a significant first effort for the new organization.
Distributed computing isn’t a new application for network computers; however, until now, implementation standards were difficult to pin down. The Globus Consortium may move grid computing from the narrowly-focused government projects and the popular SETI@home network to the corporate IT center. This is a project that is worth watching.
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