Grid is a software environment that makes it possible to share disparate, loosely coupled IT resources across organisations and geographies. Using a grid, your IT resources are freed from their physical boundaries and offered as services. These resources include almost any IT component – computer cycles, storage spaces, databases, applications, files, sensors or scientific instruments.
In grid computing, resources can be dynamically provisioned to your users or applications that need them. Resources can be shared within a workgroup or department, across different organisations and geographies or outside your enterprise.
Designed to support various business processes, grid technologies use emerging Web services standards such as XML, SOAP and WSDL.
Bringing grid to your enterprise
Grid technologies have long been used within scientific and technical organisations. Dispersed computers are linked to create virtual supercomputers that rapidly process vast amounts of data.
Now, with the success of e-commerce and the Internet, commercial enterprises are moving to an IT model based on Web services. In this model, software can be offered and consumed as services via a service-oriented architecture (SOA).
Grid is not a ready-made solution, but rather a solution created by pulling together various components and protocols. It is a powerful way to virtualise resources and create a SOA. In this way, IT resources are delivered on demand, similar to utility computing.