Businessweek makes the declaration this week: Grid computing is going mainstream. No longer just the province of ineffable projects listening for peeps from the outer universe (see The SETI Institute’s page for info on one of the earliest and best known grid computing projects), it’s being used by organizations as varied as the U.S. Tennis Association, Axciom and brokerage Charles Schwab.
Getting a Grip on Grid Computing quotes a Forrester Research study of 149 large North American companies: 37 percent have set up grids and 30 percent are actively considering it. More compellingly, the story talks about the savings. C. Alex Dietz, Acxiom’s CIO, said he cut his annual data analysis expenses in half by switching from a single $2 million mainframe-style computer to a grid of cheap servers running the Linux operating system.
The word of warning at the end, the very end: The technologies are immature, security must be improved and all the standards aren’t yet in place. But of course a visionary CEO might determine that the road to the bright and glorious future starts with steps into the immature unknown.
CIO has been writing about grid computing for a while now. In last May’s True Grid, we quote some practitioners and recount their experiences, offer questions to see if grid’s right for you, and link to other resources.