Gartner Predicts: Return to Distributed Systems

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2002-10-08
ORLANDO, Fla.—Bandwidth thats becoming more affordable than computing will spur a return to distributed systems, including grid computing, over the next several years, said Gartner Inc. analyst Carl Claunch at Gartners annual Symposium/ITxpo here in his session titled "Gartner Predicts: The Future of IT."

Grid-based computing, in which a number of distributed systems are linked together to cooperate on computing tasks, will gain ground gradually, following in the wake of a trend to re-distribute processing generally, following the current trend to consolidate servers and data centers to reap economies. "The pendulum will swing back to distributed computing by 2004," said Claunch.

Claunchs presentation included a top 10 list of trends. Among them is the advent of what he called "Interprise systems" that will be built to connect multiple companies that partner together. The benefit will be reducing inventories and waste in business-to-business transactions, he said.

Claunch said that IT will continue to deliver productivity gains at many companies, but these advances will result in layoffs, even at successful companies, as workers are no longer needed. "Companies will no longer expand IT systems just because its possible to." By 2010, companies that have moved much of their operations to the Internet will have 30 percent fewer workers than other companies, he predicted.

Also disappearing from the scene will be a number of vendors. "At least one major player in each major market will go away by 2004," he said. Only in 2008 will we start to see a return to innovation, startups and venture capital funding.

One thing that wont change will be Moores law, which will continue in force through the end of the decade. That law will result in far more powerful PCs than at present, with four to eight 40GHz CPUs per system and 1.5 terabytes of disk storage, he said.

Claunch also predicted that by 2007, banks will become primary providers of so-called "presence" services like Microsoft Corp.s Passport identity service.

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