IBM is focusing on five key industry sectors in an attempt to encourage commercial use of grid computing.
Big Blue will concentrate on the financial markets, life sciences, automotive, aerospace and government sectors with a set of new offerings.
The packages will include IBM hardware (typically its eServer xSeries systems running Linux) and the Globus grid toolkit software, managed by IBM in accordance with Open Grid Services Architecture.
Grid computing links together the spare resources of computers across a network, to handle complex calculations or make better use of available systems.
Grid company Platform will provide its technology to support a range of manufacturers' hardware and operating systems across all industry sectors. Enterprise grids typically span a mix of operating environments.
"This is a pragmatic first step on the road to IBM's long-term vision of e-business on demand," said Neil Macehiter, senior consultant at Ovum.
"They have done a pretty detailed job of market segmentation and patched together an offering of best-of-breed providers."
But Macehiter warned that it would take time for business decision makers to become comfortable with the idea of grid, and that they would require a lot of proof before the business case was made.
On one financial services grid project, IBM has been working with Charles Schwab at its San Francisco headquarters. Having grid-enabled a sample application, IBM said processing time was reduced from four minutes to 15 seconds.
As well as the industry-specific offerings, grid innovation workshops are being given to help companies examine how grid technologies can affect their organisation.
"The grid innovation workshops are the result of a lot of experiments," said Philippe Bricard, IBM's grid computing sales and marketing manager. "They are for those who think grid is interesting but don't have an idea of where it would benefit their company."
For financial markets IBM is offering an analytics acceleration grid to speed up risk management calculations, and an IT optimisation grid to increase use of existing resources.
In life sciences it will offer an analytics acceleration grid for faster drug calculations, while an information accessibility grid option will allow unified data access to non-standard data formats.
The automotive and aerospace sectors will be offered an engineering design grid for optimising resources, and a design collaboration grid for data sharing.
For government IBM will offer an information access grid to maximise and simplify access to disparate data resources, including data mining.
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