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May 22, 2006

What Do Envy, EMEA and XBox Have in Common?

Derrick Harris

Well, it’s another week and, I must say, another quality issue of GRIDtoday. Not only do we have a lot of big announcements from all over the board, but we have two excellent features, as well.

The first feature is a Q&A I conducted with three Hewlett-Packard representatives about what is going in terms of Grid computing in the EMEA region and, more specifically, what HP is up to in that region. Not surprisingly, CERN’s LHC grid is cited as the major Grid activity going on Europe, although it is noted that commercial users are also coming around in the region.

Next up is the “Grid Envy” article by HPCwire editor Michael Feldman. He takes a closer look at the DAS-3 Grid that was announced a couple of weeks back in The Netherlands. While we try to maintain a fair amount of distance between HPCwire and GRIDtoday editorially, there are certainly times when crossover is necessary — and this is one of them. After all, when someone takes five HPC clusters and connects them to form a national grid (not unlike the TeraGrid in the United States), it’s going to attract attention from all sides of the high-performance IT community.

Speaking of the TeraGrid, it’s one of many organizations that made news last week. While the TeraGrid’s User Portals went live, we saw CERN announce the second phase of the Openlab partnership; Sun try to advance development on the Sun Grid; DataSynapse attract yet another financial services customer; and Oracle launch an program in Singapore aimed at training enterprise grid architects, among other news. Also, the JavaOne conference took place last week, so we have plenty of Java-centric news in our “Operating Systems & Middleware” section.

Finally, I’d like to comment on one announcement in particular — that being the competition that was launched by the British Computing Society and Grid Computing Now!. I’ve heard on several occasions now that the world’s universities simply are not producing enough students knowledgeable enough in Grid technologies to join a workforce that is likely to be in need of just such people if the predictions surrounding the Grid market and its growth are to be believed. While this contest is far from the final solution to this situation, it certainly is a good start in getting young people at least thinking of Grid computing. Once they learn a little about it, I think a career in the Grid field might look like a promising option. Also, seeing as how I fall into the age range for entering (too bad I don’t live in the United Kingdom), I can attest that an xBox 360 is a pretty sweet incentive to give this competition a try.