Grid computing: Is it right for your business?

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Grid computing in Linux environments is a hot topic at the Enterprise Linux Forum Conference & Expo this week. Several conference presentations focus on developments in open-source standards for grid computing and the major vendors' grid computing initiatives. But all this attention to grid computing doesn't mean that all mainstream businesses should jump on the bandwagon -- at least not yet, according to Chris Smith, a speaker at the conference and an integration architect for Platform Computing, a vendor that has already implemented grid solutions at major manufacturing, pharmaceutical and scientific companies. Businesses first need to identify applications that would be maximized by grid computing and make sure they understand the infrastructure requirements of the technology, Smith said. In the enterprise grid-computing model, pieces of a program are divided and farmed out in pieces to as many as several thousand computers. Grid computing can be likened to distributed and large-scale cluster computing and to network-distributed parallel processing. Sharing resources via the grid model can bring dramatic improvements in application and system utilization, he said. In an interview with SearchEnterpriseLinux.com at Enterprise Linux Forum, Smith offered insights about what grid computing can do for organizations and offered tips for when and how they should utilize it.

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