Grid not just for biggies

In a sign of growing maturity, independent software vendors -- not just hardware providers -- are getting on board the grid computing idea.

Business intelligence vendor SAS Institute this week at the GridWorld conference announced that its SAS 9 software is now grid-enabled. In practice, this means that a set of servers can serve more than one application and more hardware can be dedicated to a single application to meet a spike in demand. The SAS software draws on grid middleware from Platform Computing.

Meanwhile, platform vendors IBM and Sun Microsystems each announced new additions to their grid ISV programs. Sun this week launched a Grid Readiness Offer and a developer program for building applications for the Sun Grid.

IBM this week said that Absoft is part of IBM's Grid and Grow program, which has a "Ready for IBM Grid Computing" certification logo. And in a vote of confidence for the Globus Toolkit, IBM said that it will bundle start-up Univa's implementation of the Globus Toolkit with its servers.

After years where most of the discussion about grid computing was the visions of the industry's largest vendors (even Microsoft), the growing availability of grid-ready third-party applications will help drive actual adoption.

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