Wednesday
Mar302005

HP (by itself?) Helps Seed Next Generation Of Web Services

It seems a bit disingenuous of HP to take as much credit for WSDM as they seem to be doing in this article.  (Or, perhaps, it's InformationWeek being a bit more effusive than usual.)  Nevertheless, it IS important that WSDM has made it out of the gates.

Link: HP Helps Seed Next Generation Of Web Services > March 30, 2005.

Hewlett-Packard says Web services took a giant step forward earlier this month with the approval of Web Services Distributed Management 1.0, which allows services with little knowledge of each other to interoperate and understand how each needs to run.

WSDM fills a hole that existing standards for creating Web services, such as XML or Universal Discovery, Description, and Integration (for building registries of Web services), did not cover, says Judi Cowell, director of research and development for HP's Standards Program Office.

WSDM allows management information to be communicated across the many software elements that make up an operational Web service. Web services by design are loosely coupled, or lacking in specific information about each other. Without WSDM, there was an invisible barrier between Web services: They didn't have the means to talk about management issues.

Tuesday
Mar292005

Grid Computing Pricing Model - a problem for us all

The issue of pricing models for grid computing software, particularly middleware, is a tough one for vendors and customers alike.  There are some problems with the analysis provided in this overview article, which are clarified in the full report of the 451 Group, but the statement of the problem is pretty much on target.

Link: Grid Computing Chokes on License Regs.

Grid computing is being hampered, says new research from The 451 Group. And it's because IT departments can't afford to buy software licenses for every processor or device in a grid for each application they intend to run on that grid.

Grid software creates efficiencies in computing systems by simultaneously applying the resources of many computers in a network to a problem.

Monday
Mar282005

CERN readies world's biggest science grid

... and it uses Globus as the basis for its infrastructure.  An article sourced from Techworld.com.

Link: CERN readies world's biggest science grid.

For all the talk about grids from big IT vendors, virtually no suitable commercial tools were available to build the grid's infrastructure, according to project leader Les Robertson. Much of the data will be stored in Oracle Corp. databases, and a few of the sites use commercial storage systems, but the hardest part -- building the middleware to operate the grid -- was left largely to Robertson and his peers.

"It's surprised me a bit that there haven't been more commercial tools available to us. What we're building is not very specialized; we're just creating a virtual clustered system, but on a large scale and with a very large amount of data," he said.

Instead, CERN based its grid on the Globus Toolkit from the Globus Alliance, adding scheduling software from the University of Wisconsin's Condor project and tools developed in Italy under the European Union's DataGrid project. "This stuff comes from a lot of different places, it's very much a component-based approach," Robertson said.

Monday
Mar282005

storage.itworld.com - Storage Strategy: ILM and storage virtualization

Nice (but short) interview with Joe Clabby of Summit Strategies about storage and virtualization.  I'm not sure I agree with him that IBM has the most interesting set of offerings, though they're right up there.

I've found over the past 18 months that Joe has a point of view and a style in addressing the grid computing, utility and related areas that I enjoy and find very helpful in my own navigations.

Link: Storage Strategy: ILM and storage virtualization.

The hot topics in storage right now are Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) and consolidation/virtualization/provisioning. I call this CVP.

Monday
Mar282005

Sun's Computing 'Utility' Is More Like Equipment Rental

An article in Intelligent Enterprise Magazine caught my eye.  Susana Schwartz' article expresses for me that nagging set of thoughts I have every time I drive past the electronic billboard on the Bayshore Freeway that advertises Sun's "utility computing services -- grid computing at $1.00 an hour".   It's computer rental, not utility computing.  It's clusters, not grids.

Link: Sun's Computing 'Utility' Is More Like Equipment Rental.

"True utility computing would allow us to dynamically accommodate computing needs for multiple departments across multiple lines of business, without additional hardware purchases or maintenance costs," says Whit Stockwell, CTO of Genalytics, which uses genetic algorithms to expedite modeling for marketing and risk management. While Sun's "utility" launch piqued his interest — Genalytics develops in Java — Stockwell didn't buy in because, he says, utility computing has to mean more than just adding capacity for peak usage times.

Sometimes claims of "utility computing," such as Sun's, turn out to be nothing more than cluster computing. True utility computing requires the ability to respond quickly to need. That entails having grid software that's sufficiently intelligent to match customer service-level agreements with spikes in computing needs, so computational power is sought out automatically and without advance notice.