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August 28, 2006

Are Transactional Apps on Grid Vendors’ Radars?

Derrick Harris

After speaking with both Jamie Bernadin and Jikku Venkat for this week’s feature article on application virtualization, one thing that stuck with me was both CTOs’ characterizations of the overall Grid vendor community as still largely focused on developing solutions for the scientific and R&D communities, while, for the most part, ignoring the needs of the datacenter.

The more I thought about it, the more confused I became. On one hand, it occurred to me that I actually haven’t seen too many vendors touting their abilities to virtualize common datacenter applications, and those who have made similar claims (I’m thinking of Appistry, among others) tend to fall outside the usual group of Grid vendors. On the other hand, though, it occurred to me that neither DataSynapse or United Devices are members of the Enterprise Grid Alliance. While I don’t recall anyone from the EGA ever associating the term “application virtualization” to its work, I have to assume that its members are keenly aware of the concept and likely are working to incorporate it into their solutions at some point in the relatively near future. The EGA (now part of the Open Grid Forum), after all, is dedicated to addressing the commercial sector’s needs in regard to Grid technologies.

That said, I suppose it’s possible to focus on the enterprise datacenter without going down the path of virtualizing transactional applications and application platforms, as so many companies have yet to apply Grid computing to the low- hanging problems they are facing. With that many potential customers out there, why not focus on the easiest sell? Of course, without being privy to company secrets and strategic plans, all I’m doing here is speculating. If you’re interested in this discussion and want to share your insights, I’d love to hear from you

As for the rest of this week’s issue, we’ve got announcements on a variety of topics, including: a CERN-TeraGrid connection; Amazon.com offering a utility computing service of sorts; the upcoming Grid 2006 conference; and, lest I forget, the inaugural GRIDtoday Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards.

With regard to the latter, I’m excited for the announcement of the awards at GridWorld, and I hope the winners, and the community as a whole, share in my excitement. GRIDtoday’s readers and connections represent industry leadership in many areas, and to be acknowledged by this group with either award says quite a bit about your place in the Grid world. Plus, awards generate buzz around an entire industry, which usually isn’t a bad thing. Between the GRIDtoday Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards and the Globus Awards, the buzz from the Washington Convention Center should be audible from, well, Baltimore, at least.