Bringing Grid Computing to the Mainframe

Grid computing companies DataSynapse and Platform Computing are making their grid computing products available on IBM's eServer zSeries line of high-end servers.

IBM on Monday said it is bringing new grid computing capabilities to its line of mainframe systems. The Armonk, N.Y., company announced that grid computing companies DataSynapse Inc. and Platform Computing Inc. are making their grid computing products available on IBMs eServer zSeries line of high-end servers.

In addition, IBM also is incorporating the Globus Toolkit for Linux on the zSeries systems. The tool kit is available either from SuSE Linux AG or from

Big Blue is offering New York-based DataSynapses LiveCluster 3G for Linux technology on the zSeries, which will enable mainframe users to run their applications in a grid environment. LiveCluster includes workload prioritization capabilities such as load balancing and high availability.

Platform Computing, of Toronto, is bringing three products onto IBMs mainframes. Platform LSF gives users access to all of their companys computing resources, enabling them to balance workloads across those resources. Platform JobScheduler accelerates the flow of jobs, processes and applications across distributing computing environments, and Platform MultiCluster enables enterprises to create resource sharing policies among dispersed sites.

Rich Lechner, vice president of IBMs Enterprise Servers, said many of the mainframe features in the companys zSeries systems—including high availability, virtualization capabilities and dynamic server provisioning—are in line with much of what grid computing is designed to accomplish.

Charles King, an analyst with the Sageza Group Inc., in Mountain View, Calif., said the initial beneficiaries will be those already using IBMs mainframes.

"It gives an entry point of sorts for IBM mainframe customers into grid deployments, if thats something theyve been thinking about," King said. "Its taking old school technology and giving it new school deployments."

He said there has been some hesitation by enterprises in completely embracing grid computing because of security issues, something that mainframes are known for. They also have such features as self-managing and self-healing capabilities, King said.

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