Thursday, February 03, 2005

Grid Computing Now Available to Anyone

Grid computing, long the domain of the rich pharmaceutical company or the well-funded government research project is now available to everyone. Sun now provides grid computing at fairly reasonable prices. Click here
to find out more about Sun’s offering to allow you to connect to Grid-based computing. The stated price is $1 an hour per processor and a $1 a month per gigabyte of storage.

I bring this up because I believe computation is going to be as accessible and prevalent as electricity. Most people don’t have an electric generator in their house but by tapping into the electric grid they gain access to the resources they need to power their appliances. Likewise, computation power is a resource people need and by tapping into a “computation grid” they can pay for what they need, when they need it. Grid computing is the early incarnation of computation-on-demand and now we are seeing it become available at reasonable prices.

In other news, IBM and United Devices announced a research grid called, “World Community Grid.” The first project will focus on protein-folding applications. Just as companies organize partnerships to provide better customer service, we may see companies organizing computation grids to provide better computation services. To learn more about the IBM and United Devices offering you can click here.

Virtual instrumentation works in a distributed environment. I maintain it will need to work in a grid environment in the not so distant future. If you have an opinion in this area, please email me at hall.martin@ni.com

Best regards,
Hall T. Martin

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