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IBM To Announce Broad Support For Grid Computing, Globus

IBM will announce new software, storage and servers for Grid Computing tomorrow, and will also announce plans to Grid-enable the company's entire product portfolio.

"Grid computing will take e-business to the next level by giving customers a resilient, flexible, virtual IT infrastructure readily available from any location, on demand," Irving Wladawsky-Berger, vice president for technology and strategy in IBM's Server Group, said in a statement. "By Grid-enabling our products, we give customers the ability to share computing resources, such as applications, data and computing power, both internally over intranets and externally over the Internet."

Wladawsky-Berger will announce the Grid initiative at the Global Grid Forum 4 in Toronto tomorrow morning. IBM believes that Grid computing will dominate computing environments in the future, and has aggressively positioned itself in the space, including drafting protocols with the widely followed Globus Project for the integration of Grid computing and Web services, called the Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA).

Under the company's strategy, IBM's WebSphere e-infrastructure software will provide a robust reference implementation for the OGSA grid services standards, the company said. IBM said is working with Globus to re-tool the Globus Toolkit to be Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) compliant using IBM WebSphere as the reference application server. "This will allow IBM WebSphere customers to benefit through better use of grid-enabled network computing resources as they deploy their applications on Websphere," IBM said.

Grid computing "enhances Web services by coordinating global applications and resources at various locations efficiently, regardless of the underlying implementations and services," the company said. "Grid computing builds on the scope of Web services by providing a reliable, dynamic, and comprehensive infrastructure that brings together resources, applications and services within and across organizational boundaries. By supporting grid computing and Web services, businesses can solve complex problems by utilizing their resources more effectively and integrating business processes with partners and suppliers."

By making the Globus Grid protocols available on IBM servers, IBM said it is enabling customers to plug these machines quickly and easily into Grid computing systems. To support Grid implementations, IBM said it will provide the Globus Toolkit on each of its eServer platforms; the Toolkit is already available on AIX and Linux. IBM said it will also provide an implementation of the Open Grid Services Architecture as part of its Grid solutions for customers.

Tivoli, IBM's provider of e-business infrastructure management software, will provide solutions that will enable Grid management functions such as security, performance, availability configuration, operations, and storage management.

In addition, IBM's Storage Group has several offerings that will support Grid implementations, such as IBM TotalStorage products, including those based on open standards, including network attached storage and the emerging iSCSI protocol. The iSCSI protocol is designed to transport data over IP networks via TCP/IP and has its roots in IBM Research projects dating back to 1997.

These IP-based products will provide accessibility to data anywhere within a Grid and be able to be provisioned dynamically when needed, the company said. The IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server, code named "Shark," is designed to handle large amounts of storage for on-line data and removable media products for meeting the off-line data storage needs of a Grid, IBM said.

Other key IBM storage technologies will include virtualization to enable more efficient use of resources, sharing, availability, and dynamic allocation, and IBM's Storage Tank, designed to be Grid-ready and to provide the policy-based and autonomic capabilities to make Grid a reality, the company said.

IBM Global Services will offer an array of services to customers considering a Grid strategy, such as consulting services to plan, design, migrate, implement, run and manage Grid environments, utilizing IBM's IT methodology. This may include assistance with architecture, security, business and Information Technology processes, recovery, organizational structure, availability and optimization.

IBM also said it is working closely with the Globus open source development community and the Global Grid Forum standards body. "Open protocols are essential to Grids because they enable heterogeneous systems to work together as a single system," the company said.