is continuing work to raise the profile of grid computing beyond
scientific and research markets.
Several grid-based commercial
projects built on IBM platforms have been launched, including one
at the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The company has completed work
with 10 more software suppliers to reshape their
applications to work with grids, bringing the total to 17.
IBM attributes most of the
recent surge of commercial interest in grid computing to the
prevalence of more sophisticated end-to-end infrastructure .
"The business case has been
strong for grids, but the inhibitor has always been, `How do I do
this without having brain surgeons come in or a very large IT
"You are seeing a lot of
these commercial companies pursue grid projects now because it is
just becoming more do-able. Open standards evolving more rapidly
has not hurt either," said Scott Hebner, IBM's vice-president
in charge of developer relations.
The Environmental Protection
Agency is using Linux and IBM supercomputers on a grid to carry
out improved air quality modeling as well as to better predict the
environmental risks of exposure to air pollution, an agency
"We think this open systems
approach by IBM will give some added speed and better efficiencies
focused on improving the nation's health by partnering with states
in their implementation of new clean air standards," said
Paul Gilman, assistant administrator for the agency's research and
It is using IBM's Grid Toolbox, Red
Hat's Linux Enterprise 2.1, IBM's pSeries of
supercomputers, and the Avaki Enterprise Information software.
It will use the system to provide
pay-as-you-go computing services to partners that would otherwise
have no access to such resources.