Grid computing has received more than its share of hype over the past year, and we're only just starting to explore its applicability in enterprise computing settings.
Tony Scott, chief technology officer for General Motors, steps on the brakes a bit when it comes to grid, as captured in this Q&A
just published in ComputerWorld:
- Large vendors haven't yet mapped core legacy applications to the grid environment.
- There aren't yet reliable management interfaces for the grid environment.
- Dynamic distributed computing structures that are grid-enabled will amplify the importance of frontier security issues, such as identity management and usage policies.
In the course of the Q&A, Scott also brings up the whole dimension of identity management - another underdeveloped technology - that may be necessary before grids really can take off. "...in the grid space, where you're allowing computers to participate in a community and share idle resources, your ability to do so will only be as great as your ability to protect those resources you need to protect. And as soon as you can't reclaim the resources when you need to use them, that will end your enthusiasm for participating in the grid." It may depend on where and how your grid is deployed, of course. Many industry experts say most grid deployments are likely to remain within firewalls, which may lessen security requirements. Last fall, I had the opportunity to speak with Don Deutsch, president of the Enterprise Grid Alliance, about the more internal route grid will take. The Q&A is posted at Database Trends & Applications.