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EMC Buys Acxiom's Grid Software

The grid infrastructure world just got more interesting. The article doesn't provide a schedule on which customers can buy hosted services from EMC Corp. But it does say that within 2 years EMC will offer a packaged version of the technology.

The questions that occur to me:

With what products -- EMC's or third party's -- will the new grid infrastructure be certified? Their Information Lifecycle Management product lines?

What's missing from the recipe? Scheduling? Accounting? Policy framework?

Link: EMC buys grid software, offers hosted services

EMC Corp. today announced that it has acquired the intellectual property for grid software developed by Acxiom Corp. for $30 million, and will work with the company to offer grid-based hosted services. Acxiom is a $1.9 billion public company based in Conway, Ark.

Specifically, EMC has acquired the grid middleware that Acxiom uses for internal purposes to run its hosted business analytics service. Acxiom's customers include Citigroup, Bank of America, BMW, Charles Schwab, Sears, Nationwide, Western Union, Sprint, Discovery Communications Inc. and Unilever that buy data mining, data hygiene and other business analytics services from Acxiom on a hosted basis. Acxiom is the only company that has deployed the grid software.

According to Ian Baird, chief technology officer of grid and utility computing at EMC, Axiom's software includes all the elements to build a complete grid, such as security tools, grid portals, directory and scheduling services, databases and other components. "It's a complete stack unlike many point solutions for grid … the Globus toolkit is a collection of different elements," Baird said.

Within two years EMC plans to sell this grid software to customers in a nonhosted scenario. "It will allow a company to provide IT services against its infrastructure on a utility basis," Baird said. The vision is for IT resources to be much more flexible, and to be available and paid for on demand, improving utilization and lowering costs. EMC said the grid software can run other applications besides business analytics, for healthcare, retail and other industries.


Link: EMC Unveils Grid Gameplan

An another article which sheds a bit more light on EMC's and Axciom's plans.

... EMC and Axciom have actually constructed a multi-faceted partnership. EMC is paying for Acxiom’s grid software, but the two companies will jointly develop and sell a hosted grid service that Acxiom offers. Eventually, they will integrate systems, software, and services into a non-hosted grid product. EMC will then sell the grid product, while Acxiom continues to sell the hosted services.

"We will jointly market the hosted solution while we are building out the real solution that we wish to deliver -- that’s a product that installs beyond the customer firewall," says Ian Baird, EMC's CTO of grid and utility computing and head of its new grid incubation unit. ...

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