IBM flies the grid flag at LinuxWorld

LinuxWorld was chosen by IBM as the place to debut its new starter pack for potential grid users

IBM launched a packaged set of software, hardware and services for grid computing at LinuxWorld on Tuesday that aims to be a simple, entry-level system for users interested in grid technology.

Called Grid and Grow, it is designed for both small and large companies. IBM says it is a "simple, but powerful solution designed to help companies get started with grid computing."

The new platform is built using the IBM eServer BladeCenter, running a variety of operating systems.

While grid computing has traditionally been mainly used for big, processor-intensive applications which can be easily split into chunks to run across grids, such as within scientific research, IBM is stressing newer areas such as the public sector that it believes could use the technology. It is also pushing the scalability of grid computing — organisations can start small and build up.

"Commercial enterprises are realising tangible business benefits from grid technology," claimed Robert Fogel, director of grid strategy and business development for Intel, a key IBM partner on grid computing. "We see grid computing becoming a key strategic element in the alignment between business and IT."

The IBM system comes with a BladeCenter with seven blades that can be powered by Intel, AMD or IBM processors, along IBM Director management software and Grid Scheduler for allocating workloads using Altair PBS Professional, DataSynapse GridServer, Platform LSF, or IBM LoadLeveler.

The Grid and Grow Offering starts at £27,500 ($49,000), and is available now.