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By David Chernicoff  |  Posted 2004-10-01 Print this article Print

Aside from giving flashbacks to the days of mainframe batch jobs, I dont see any inherent problems with the concept. What I do see is the necessity of convincing customers that the job can be done for a reasonable price, and that the security of the process can be completely trusted. While Schwartz uses a conversation with the CIO of an investment bank to get his point across, my first thought was, "How do you convince any business to release sensitive business data for processing on a computer out of their control, across the Internet, that at the very least gives the administrators of those computers access to your corporate data?" Schwartz does seem to think large companies will build their own N1 grids and offer their own PPU plans to the public, but there does seem to be a bit of a disconnect between the two ideas. If you are large enough to need your own grid, then why are you buying time from someone else, or if your grid has excess capacity to rent to other companies, why did you build it that way in the first place? I can see answers to both these questions, but cant guess which way the market will go.
I do see this concept as becoming very popular within large corporate enterprises running Solaris—not for the ability to buy external cycles, but as a methodology for budgeting and charging for IT resources within a corporation. This same PPU model would work really well in organizations that are constantly looking for ways to accurately bill/charge IT time to multiple departments or business units within a large company. As companies migrate their applications to the grid, the virtualized resources would simplify the management of the hardware and applications and reduce the costs associated with running line-of-business applications, bringing the scalability and flexibility of the grid computing model to a broader audience.
At this time there is a dearth of information available about the details of the PPU process beyond the announcement of the technology and the price of $1 per CPU per hour, but Sun will be opening up a test drive of the technology starting on Oct. 4. You can register for the test drive, which will give you access to your own PPU container, at Check out eWEEK.coms Utility Computing Center for the latest utility computing news, reviews and analysis.


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