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A Look Ahead to Grid in 2005

By Ian Foster
December 23, 2004 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - 2004 was a busy year for enterprise grid computing.
We saw a dramatic increase in the volume of industry discussion and media and analyst attention around commercial-level deployment issues. We heard announcements from major vendors about large enterprise initiatives. And we saw some important discussions start to unfold around practical issues related to grid adoption on the enterprise scale -- issues such as how to best secure a distributed grid environment (see story), as well as software licensing issues (see story).
As we look ahead to 2005, I thought it would be interesting to catch up with some of the leaders from the grid industry and have them weigh in on what they consider to be important issues to watch in the coming year. Responses varied from specific concerns to philosophical perspectives about the implications of grid technology.
Here's what they had to say:
"First, we believe that the concepts of service-oriented architectures (SOA), utility computing and data center automation will continue to gain traction through 2005. Grid computing should benefit exponentially from this when it is integrated with Web services and as its use as a means to underpin these activities becomes self-evident.
"Second, the key challenges through 2005 will be enabling data management on grids, bringing commercial applications to grids, developing integrated infrastructure for enterprise grids and using grids to support SOA. There also is a significant need for new approaches to software licensing for grids, which will become an overriding factor and could hinder wider commercial adoption of grids if this issue is not addressed.
"Finally, some things to ponder: Where are the application-server vendors? And where is Microsoft? A lot to think about going into 2005, but also a lot of opportunity and activity, which is good."
-- William Fellows, principal analyst, The 451 Group
"It's time for IT to share computing cross-departmentally, rather than clinging to resources like they're personal possessions. It's interesting how people don't worry about whose electrons they get from the power company or whose raindrops they get from the faucet -- but how IT professionals are obsessed with where they get their computing power. There seems to be a strong affiliation today with the notion of 'I need computing from a certain machine.' A good New Year's resolution for IT professionals would be to drop this limited view of IT resource consumption and truly embrace the reality that distributed resource sharing is the future of IT."
-- Rich Green, executive vice president of products, Cassatt Corp.
"My wish is that the production-proven, publicly referenceable business benefits of grid computing finally overshadow the hype surrounding this rapidly emerging technology. ... Grid computing delivers real business benefits and cost savings for the 'virtual' enterprise."



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