Vendors tout grid, utility, or on demand computing as if they were the underpinning of an IT revolution. The hardware market has certainly changed focus toward commodity boxes, reigniting the possibility of recapturing unused storage and processing power. However, the current reality remains decidedly less tantalizing. The level of application management required to share resources across low-end hardware makes little to no economic (or performance) sense, yet the allure of grid computing still holds some appeal at the upper/midrange markets. Specialist applications in life sciences, media and entertainment, and financial services are currently refining their approaches to optimizing grid architectures, and we expect to see this translate to greater client interest through 2005-07, especially as these niches mature and the successes become more widely known. However, most of these successes will likely be tied to specific applications, rather than a general technology platform.
META Group originally published this article on 2 March 2004.