Studie: Commercial Grid Tools 2009

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Commercial Grid ToolsIT systems keep supporting ever new scopes of work and provide efficient solutions for new application areas. In doing so the requirements for these IT systems and their computing power are rising steadily. It is increasingly important to interconnect a growing number of resources – ranging from compute nodes and storage, to applications and services or technical devices, e.g. sensors. Flexible scalability is thereby equally important as technical ability and performance or cost efficiency. Furthermore,the challenges arise in optimizing the usability for end users as well as the support for administrators in a way that allows for and ensure the stable and manageable operation.

Grid Computing and Cloud Computing hereby offer the groundwork for the realization of solutions to these requirements which meet the needs of the users as well as their tasks. Grid and Cloud Computing have become the predominant paradigms for the use of distributed resources like computing power, storage capacities, data and software applications.

Fraunhofer has identified the significance of Grids and Clouds for science as well as for business very early. Already at the beginning of the new millennium Fraunhofer began to set up a Grid infrastructure and started developing own Grid middleware solutions. This lay the cornerstone for the Fraunhofer Resource Grid. In the year 2005 Grid Computing became one of the twelve innovation topics of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.

In order to open up Grid and Cloud Computing as well as corresponding issues such as Service-Oriented Architectures and Infrastructures for the industrial use, Fraunhofer funded the business oriented strategic alliance Enterprise Grids. Within this alliance the four Fraunhofer Institutes IAO, ITWM, FIRST and SCAI bring in their competences in the area of Grid Computing, Cloud Computing, SOA and High Performance Computing in order to provide powerful bundled solutions to these topics.

Fraunhofer Enterprise Grids (www.enterprisegrids.fraunhofer.de) combines vast practical know-how to all aspects of Grid, Cloud, Utility, High Performance and Distributed Computing with an overview over commercial solutions, open-source solutions and the latest research. Furthermore, Fraunhofer Enterprise Grids offers innovative own software solutions to fill remaining gaps in the available middleware. Enterprise Grids integrates the Fraunhofer Resource Grid, which forms the Grid infrastructure of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, to serve as a demonstration platform and to offer specific solutions for different industry branches. Enterprise Grid also offers a large number of consulting services. This ranges from a »Grid Check« – an introductory consulting and analysis offer – via enterprise support for the selection of IT service solutions and products to process consultancy for the introduction and operation of Grid, Cloud or other related IT solutions. The efforts of the Enterprise Grids alliance also contribute to the »Fraunhofer Alliance Grid Computing« (www.grid.fraunhofer.de) in which eight institutes are working together to promote the integration of Grid solutions on the basis of own, open-source and commercial solutions in industrial environments.

Within the work of the Enterprise Grids alliance the results in the areas of Grid software development and in the establishment of consultancy services have been published together with a selection of industrial use cases in late 2008. They include a series of innovative software solutions which ease the use of Grid technologies. Use cases from the areas of medicine and bioinformatics, from the pharmaceutical industry, media, the oil and gas industry as well as financial business and environmental protection show the potentials that can be opened up with Grid Computing and related technologies. These publications are now completed with this present market overview on commercial Grid middleware solutions that may give the user a means for a first assessment of the capabilities of the tools included.

We wish the readers an informative lecture and a good deal of valuable incitation for the use of Grid and Cloud Computing technologies.

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