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Grid Computing now KTN

Grid Computing has come a long way from its roots in the research community to playing a key role in the computing models of the future.

Grid Computing is the practice of harnessing a wide range of computing equipment, across organisational boundaries, to provide a more efficient service for prospective user, allowing rapid deployment of services at reduced cost and improved utilisation. Inherent in grid computing infrastructures is the ability to dynamically discover and deploy resources. The use of virtualisation at application and hardware levels enables improved capacity and increased utilisation. The Grid Computing Now! KTN has been at the forefront of the development of these technologies since 2005. With pressure to improve efficiency and reduce cost, they are now poised for widespread adoption!


We believe that the original grid computing adoption agenda has been successfully incorporated into the developments of commercial and open source offerings for virtualisation and system management middleware, now used to manage largescale, proprietary computing infrastructures. The next big move in the industry is towards a utility model where computing resources can be purchased on demand to meet the IT requirements of an organisation.

The current name for this model is ?Cloud Computing?. What does this mean?

  • Cloud Computing suppliers provide public access to computing resources paid for as they are used. Notable vendors include Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, IBM and many others. You simply purchase the resources, run your applications and manage your data on the supplier infrastructure accessed through the internet! This is know as ?Infrastructure as a Service?.
  • In some cases you don?t even need to own the software applications, you access the programs you need via the internet, when you need them. This is known as ?Software as a Service? (SaaS). Leading proponents include Salesforce. Com; Google Apps; and many other software suppliers offering access to their products in this way.
  • Increasingly, users are beginning to rely upon information provided by third-party suppliers which is then incorporated in their own business applications, often assembled into service ?mash-ups?. This model is known as ?Information as a Service? and leading suppliers include Google Earth, Microsoft Maps, Ordnance Survey, Met Office, as well as many service providers who deliver specialist information to financial institutions.

The evolution of this style of computing will lead many organisations to reconsider their assumptions about owning computer power and purchasing software to be installed locally. Recent exponents of cloud computing have built capacity into their businesses simply by adding capacity on demand. Paying only for the services they use when they use them, minimising up-front capital expense.

Shifts in the market like this cannot simply be adopted without some expert thinking and advice. Organisations either need to develop their own capabilities and architectural models to support their needs, or purchase such services from thirdparty experts in information architecture and strategy. These skills will become even more of a business imperative looking forward.

Members of the KTN have engaged with leading users to bring these processes to bear on challenges in sectors such as Intelligent Transport; Green IT; Healthcare; as well as Software Licensing models in this age of virtualised, distributed computing. Lastly, the requirement to design sustainable systems with minimal carbon emissions is becoming accepted as a fundamental part of next generation computing systems. But there lies an opportunity too. The true value of a business information infrastructure is to enable a breakthrough in carbon emission reduction through reducing wasted effort and optimising required expenditure across the organisation?s activities. Contact us now to learn more and join the network!


Grid Computing Now! is a national Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) funded by the Technology Strategy Board. It comprises a consortium of leading suppliers, academics and industrialists, led by Intellect, the UK high-technology trade association.

Established in 2005, with a network of more than 1,100 members, about two-thirds of whom are from industry; the remainder are from academia and public sector.

The KTN runs a #1 ranked website: which contains information on grid computing technologies, including grid middleware, virtualisation and service-oriented architecture.

The site publishes information about Web Seminars (webinars), events, user case studies, and provides access to news, background and other useful reference materials.

The website features examples of more than 40 successful implementations of grid computing technologies from organisations in all sectors of the economy. Several case studies are featured in our webinars available on the site.

The example applications address a wide range of user needs, including business transformation, sustainability, supply chain integration, exploration and service delivery.

The project also highlights the opportunities for standardisation, promoting the work done through its connections with the e-Science community, Open Grid Forum and OGF ? Europe programmes.

Finally, the members of the KTN frequently contribute to the conference and media activities of leading organisations and publishers, reaching and influencing a wide range of industry professionals and the general public.

Further information about the Grid Computing
Now! KTN and its activities can be found at:

Added the 10 September 2008 in category Innovation UK Vol4-1

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