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July 31, 2006

Utility Computing Meets Digital Media

Derrick Harris

This week’s feature article takes a look at the expanded partnership between Sun Microsystems and the Media Grid — a project with which I was relatively unfamiliar before getting the news of its multi-faceted collaboration with Sun, as well as the Boston Siggraph Summit in which it played a large part.

If you read this column last week, you know that I am generally a supporter of utility computing initiatives, and my feelings hold true for Media Grid. It’s no secret that digital media is a huge field in terms of HPC usage, and given its connection with Sun, specifically its connection to the Sun Grid, Media Grid seems poised to make a big impact in the way digital media applications utilize computing resources. After all, the project not only is working with vendors, but also with universities across the globe and users from broadcasting companies to pharmaceutical companies. If you’re interested in learning more about the Media Grid, you can visit its Web site at MediaGrid.org, and you can stay tuned to GRIDtoday, as well, as future issues will take a closer look at Media Grid and its infrastructure.

In other news this week, the keynote speakers were announced for September’s GridWorld conference. As expected given the various aspects of the conference, the speakers run the gamut from commercial users like Paul Strong of eBay to Globus guru Ian Foster, as well as NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure director Daniel Atkins. In addition, there are several panel discussions planned, which will feature representatives from leading Grid vendors, including Platform, Sun Microsystems, AMD, Intel, Oracle, HP, IBM and EMC, among others. Personally, I’m really excited to see how this year’s GridWorld plays out. Aside from playing host to GGF18 and GlobusWORLD, the event will serve as a coming out party of sorts for the Open Grid Forum. Assuming GridWorld is as successful as it looks to be, the Grid community should finally have its must- attend conference and trade show, which, to me, speaks volumes about the maturity and promise of Grid computing.

Finally, be sure to check out a few other announcements, including IBM extending its Grid and Grow program to the life insurance industry, Appistry working on security for application fabric environments, Oracle and other vendors leading the charge on SOA specifications, and Intel releasing its latest family of processors.