IBM SPONSORS NEW GRID COMPUTING WORKSHOPS

By Nicole Hemsoth

January 10, 2005

As part of its ongoing Grid computing enablement efforts, IBM announced a series of educational workshops designed to help developers and business partners move their applications to Grid technologies. The workshops will be led by a team of IBM technical architects from the IBM Innovation Centers, with a mission to help Business Partners understand the business value of and take advantage of Grid technologies.

The new Grid enablement resources are offered to developers and business partners who are part of IBM's PartnerWorld Industry Networks initiative. Providing business partners with a broad set of resources will help them more easily develop and go to market with customized solutions based on IBM technology that meet customer requirements, industry by industry.

The 2005 Think Grid workshops will be held at the IBM Innovation Centers worldwide, including Waltham, Mass.; San Mateo, Calif., and Hursley, United Kingdom. The three-day workshops are designed to help ISVs understand the business value of Grid technologies, educate developers on IBM's “Six Strategies For Grid Enablement,” offer personal consultations to help ISVs tune their applications for Grid, and provide hands-on access to a live Grid computing framework.

Through IBM's Grid enablement program, ISVs will have an opportunity to:

  • Understand how to more easily implement and use core Grid technologies.
  • Learn about IBM's Grid product portfolio and how it integrates with ISV applications.
  • View the implementation of an open Grid architecture framework.
  • Gain hands-on experience with IBM's Grid infrastructure software partners.

Grid enablement empowers application users to leverage existing application deployments by sharing computing and information resources. IBM's approach to Grid computing and its collaboration with the open community is attracting application vendors across various industries to adopt this technology.

“Grid is a significant market opportunity for software development organizations as their customers demand increased flexibility and responsiveness from their applications to support their dynamic business processes,” said Roy Aho, director of ISV & Developer Relations Technical Services & Support at IBM. “Through the Think Grid workshops, we are demystifying the Grid enablement process — to influence more ISVs and developers to consider this technology as a means to meet the evolving performance needs of today's businesses.”

Grid Validation and Testing Support

The IBM Innovation Centers provide access to the IBM Solutions Grid, a virtual pool of geographically disparate IBM hardware and software technologies. This Grid computing environment, which leverages technologies from IBM and IBM Business Partners such as DataSynapse and Platform Computing, allows companies run their applications in a real-world distributed environment. This helps ISVs to build and test Grid-enabled applications, and bring solutions to market faster.

After detailed technical discussions with the IBM architects and completion of the Think Grid workshop, Business Partners can begin enablement with IBM Technical Consultants that are the Grid experts at the IBM Innovation Center. By working hand-in-hand with IBM through this process, ISVs can realize the benefits of faster time to market, lower development costs, increased technical skills on Grid technology and early-adopter marketplace momentum.

Woburn, Mass.-based software company Sefas Innovation worked with IBM to validate their Grid applications through the IBM's Solutions Grid initiative. Sefas was first introduced to Grid technology through a pilot of the Think Grid workshop earlier this year.

“Before attending the Think Grid workshop, we had a very cursory understanding of Grid and the direct impact it would have on our applications,” said Herve Collin, vice president of operations at Sefas. “But after attending the program, we realized how IBM could help us move to Grid with efficiency and ease. Now that we've embraced this technology, we've significantly expanded application performance and functionality.”

From Exploration to Enablement

The IBM architects and technical resources at the IBM Innovation Centers have played an instrumental role in ISV Grid enablement. This year, the team has helped more than 25 ISVs deploy Grid-enabled applications.

ISVs can get additional technical and educational resources on IBM's developerWorks site, an online resource for developers. The site includes a dedicated Zone for technical information and resources on Grid computing, which includes downloads and product information, a technical library and training materials. A new resource available on this site includes “Geographically dispersed Grid, part 2: Some common solutions.” The article addresses how to choose Grid middleware solutions, selection criteria, as well as considerations for combining products in the same Grid.

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