Compaq partners with Platform Computing on global grids

Grid computing got a big boost on Wednesday when Platform Computing Inc. made the open-source Globus toolkit commercially available and pulled together through partnerships another grid solution that Compaq Computer Corp. will sell.

The vision of grid computing is that computer systems the world over, from desktops to the heartiest of supercomputers, will be connected in a manner much like power grids. With that type of structure in place, users and systems then can plug into the grid to access software, services, and unused computing cycles.

Industry experts are coining the phrase "Great Global Grid" as a future generation of the World Wide Web, only far more powerful. But thus far, grids have largely been relegated to the academic and scientific communities.

In the deals it pulled together, Toronto-based Platform Computing aims to commercialize grid computing through an open-source suite of tools and another suite that won't be open source.

The open-source toolbox is the result of workings with Globus, a research project that developed the tools. Platform will provide commercial support for the Globus Toolkit, which includes protocols, services, and tools. As part of the support package, Platform will offer installation, integration, training, and general consulting.

The other facet of Platform's strategy is to provide the Platform Grid Suite, a set of technologies for building grids based on its own technology combined with software from Avaki and Globus. The overall suite includes Platform's own clustering capabilities, peer-to-peer software, file transfer, and scalability products. Additionally, the Globus toolkit is included and Cambridge, Mass.-based Avaki will contribute a product that enables virtualized data access and compute resources in wide-area environments.

Compaq, in Houston, will re-sell the suite on its Alpha-based server hardware as part of a grid-enabled solution.

"We'll be able to provide grids from the desktop all the way to geographically dispersed locations outside the enterprise," said Ian Baird, chief grid strategist and chief business architect at Platform Computing.

But grid computing's road to commercialization, like its World Wide Web predecessor, will be a long one. And like the Web itself, analysts are expecting that grids will be built incrementally, as dictated by demand.

Furthermore, while grids promise to connect companies to each other more effectively than the current Internet, managing such connectivity will continue to be difficult for the time being.

"The process of connecting companies, programmatically or otherwise, is just a very organic, messy process. The concept of a distributed grid isn't going to change that," said Brent Sleeper, a partner at the Stencil Group, a San Francisco-based research and consulting firm.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Sullivan

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?