Analysts See Big Year for Grid

The coming year will be an important one for grid computing, according to a report by The 451 Group.

Major IT vendors have spent heavily promoting the technology, and with service-oriented architectures (SOA) and utility IT models also on the rise, “the expectation is that 2006 will be the year grid technologies start to cross the chasm into the enterprise,” wrote analysts William Fellows, Steve Wallage and Aidan Biggins.

Software licensing and data management remain the biggest obstacles to enterprise grid adoption, they said, and the technology also must prove that it can work for database and transactional environments.

SAP’s plans to grid-enable its software could jump-start enterprise grid applications, the report said, and other vendors may follow.

The 451 Group’s Grid Adoption Research Service has examined about 150 commercial grids over the last 18 months, tracking users’ operational and technical requirements and examining how effective vendors are in meeting these needs.

“What’s clear is that as early adopters seek to run additional application workloads on grids, conventional per-CPU software licensing models become increasingly problematic,” the analysts wrote. “Metered usage seems to be a common denominator, and 2006 could see users collectively exerting pressure, within vertical markets, on suppliers for change.”

Standards are also an issue, the report said. “Thus far, the world of standards has contributed less than zero to commercial, enterprise grid computing,” the authors said. Users wants to see common approaches for standardization of the stack, and APIs for issues such as data I/O.

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