IBM rolls out grid apps

Trying to further fuel its momentum in the grid computing market, IBM Corp. on Wednesday rolled out two new offerings aimed at the banking and financial markets and announced a handful of new grid projects among both commercial and scientific institutions.

Working in concert with SAS Institute Inc., IBM's Grid Offering for Analytics Acceleration is aimed at the banking industry and incorporates the Credit Scoring application from SAS. The SAS application, which is part of that company's Banking Intelligence solution, can be incorporated into heterogeneous grid environments without any programming, company officials said.

The IBM Grid Offering for Risk Management and Compliance, which the company co-authored with DataSynapse, is aimed at the retail industry. The product is intended to help risk managers implement a grid-based infrastructure that supports real-time credit limit monitoring.

IBM officials said they have seen a significant uptick in grid computing projects, particularly among commercial accounts over the last few months. Backing up that contention the company also on Wednesday announced several Grid projects it is working on with Morgan Stanley, Hewitt Associates, The Nippon Life Insurance Group, Singapore' Ngee Ann Polytechnic Institute, and Germany's T-Systems, which is a division of Deutsche Telecom AG.

"We are starting to see multiple customers deploying the same offerings recently, which lends credence to the fact that we are getting some traction and seeing a pretty significant upswing in activity," said Tom Hawk, General Manager of IBM's Grid Computing strategy in Somers, N.Y.

Hawk added that many commercial accounts are showing more interest in grid computing now because they are now convinced it can help them to better their utilization and responsiveness to their users as well as lowering the overall cost of IT resources.

"Our approach seems to be working where we start with a point solution at places like Hewitt, Morgan Stanley and the Royal Bank of Canada for a line of business application, and then watch that solution radiate across the enterprise," Hawk said.

Separately, IBM also announced agreements with Grid middleware providers Avaki Corp., in Burlington, Ma, and United Devices Inc. of Austin, Tx. Avaki specializes in solutions for grid-based integration software while United Devices provides secure grid solutions for both corporate and small and medium-size accounts.

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