When Grid Became a Bad Word


I somehow missed that Tabor Communications shut down its On-Demand Enterprise publication site last month. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, you may remember it by its former name of Grid Today.
Grid used to be the Next Big Thing. What happened?
I remember back when I joined Sun in 2000 and the company acquired Gridware and its successful Grid Engine Software. We open-sourced it and got thousands of downloads. Grids were springing up all over the world. HPC Wire spun off its hottest topic into a separate online publication called Grid Today.
Then there were conferences like the Grid Summit, Grid World, and the disastrous GT’04 in Philadelphia. Like other vendors, Sun continued to invest in Grid, vastly improving the Grid Engine code while we waited for the revenue to flow in.
Don’t get me wrong; the grid has come a long way. Today, Sun Grid Engine software enables the folks at TACC to manage what was once unmanageable–60,000 processor cores running thousands of different NSF applications.
So when the Grid didn’t turn into Gravy, we marketing people stopped using the G word. Instead, we started talking about N1, utility computing, cloud computing, and on-demand enterprises. Anything but grid.
What’s your perspective? Was the Grid overhyped? Or is the coming wave of server-virtualization products from folks like Cisco the missing link where the Grid Road will finally end up delivering the Payload?

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About Rich
FlexRex began his life as a cartoon character I created a Sun Microsystems. As the world's first "fictional blogger," he appeared in numerous parody films that made fun of the whole work-from-home thing. Somewhere along the line, the Sun IT department adopted FlexRex as their spokesman in a half-dozen security awareness films for employees. So when I left Sun recently, I started FlexRex Communications, a Marketing company in Portland, Oregon.

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