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Between Grid and Cloud Computing - Successful Grid Sessions for Business in Barcelona for BEinGRID

The BEinGRID project, Business Experiments in GRID, held the BEinGRID Industry Days from June 3 to 5 in Barcelona, in co-location with the Open Grid Forum’s 23 edition. The event demonstrated how Grid technologies can be applied by businesses to solve a variety of challenges.

More than 500 participants attended this major Grid event, ranging from Grid experts to representatives from SMEs and large companies interested in learning how Grid is THE solution for their business.

BEinGRID and OGF – Grid Vision of the Present Future

During the joint plenary between OGF and BEinGRID, which kicked off the event, about 300 attendees listened to keynote speakers Werner Vogels, CTO of, and Diego Pavia, CEO of ATOS Origin Iberia, who discussed the role of Grid and service oriented architecture in the market today and offered their perspectives on the role of utility-like provision in the business infrastructure of tomorrow, as well as what the future holds with the surge of ‘cloud computing’ – an entwined concept that realizes much of the on-demand, utility computing vision that inspired the original “(electricity) Grid” metaphor.

Grid Technologies on the Market

Following was an introduction from BEinGRID coordinator Santi Ristol, from ATOS Origin. He put in perspective the BEinGRID project’s central goal to foster the adoption of Grid technology in commercial situations and described the projects strategy of “catalyzing the Grid market through the findings of our business consultants, technical specialists, and the Gridipedia website, as well as promoting a knock-on effect of each of the 25 pilots run as part of the project”. Key speakers Charles Brett, Principal Analyst from Forrester, and Jesus Villasante, Head of Unit, Software & Service Architectures and Infrastructures at the European Commission, detailed their thoughts on future trends in Grid computing and how the BEinGRID project was seen by the Commission as a strategic effort in the development of the European software and services arena with enormous potential. Also featured throughout the weeks’ sessions were key speakers Carl Kesselman from Univa UD and Paul Strong from eBay.

Success Stories in Grid

The BEinGRID philosophy also rests in the belief that widespread adoption of Grid computing in a commercial sector can be triggered by a critical mass of successful use cases. Among others, Platform, GridSystems, Layer7 Technologies and Axiomatics described the experiences of their firms in providing successful Grid solutions.

Several demonstrations from innovative Grid applications reinforced the Industrial and Grid experts’ testimonies about cutting edge solutions designed around the end user to solve real business challenges through the application of Grid technologies.

For the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) sector, for example, a Grid pilot has been developed in BEinGRID by the National Technical University of Athens, involving ICON, an independent Computer Aided Engineering Technology and Process consultancy and OpenCFD, who provide contracted development for the Open-FOAM open source CFD toolbox. According to Francisco Campos, Senior Consulting Engineer at ICON, “ICON is pleased to exploit the benefits of the Grid as an end-user in the BEinGRID Business Experiments. We see Grid technologies as a key enabler for CFD to impact the effectiveness and productivity of SME companies and Original Equipment Manufacturers alike.”

Grid is THE Solution for Business

As the event closed, the numerous animated conversations all seemed to be indicating the same: the event had struck a chord. The message was clear: Grid computing is ready for business. Grid can improve efficiency and quality, reduce costs, enable new business models and facilitate collaboration. Irrespective of industrial sector, Grid computing has potential for every company, no matter how small.

Michael Krapp | alfa
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