Grid computing adoption in western Europe is extending beyond the high performance computing (HPC) space and will become more pervasive in commercial datacentres over the next few years, newly published market research has predicted.
According to IDC's European Enterprise Server Group forecasts, grid computing will account for $1.8bn in server revenue by 2008 across both HPC technical markets and in commercial applications.
"Corporate interest for the potential applications of grid computing is growing in Europe, as evidenced by the increasing number of European companies taking this journey through IT standardisation and consolidation," said Nathaniel Martinez, programme manager, European Enterprise Server Group, at IDC.
"Adoption of server computing grids in the western European commercial marketplace is slowly moving beyond the early stages of concept proofing and testing.
"Like past technologies, adoption will be highly dependent on successful early adopter reference projects in the marketplace, the perceived cost/benefit ratio of future adoption and the increased costs of late adoption."
The report found that the grid market is beginning to split into three distinct segments: compute, data and optimisation.
IDC noted that early adoption has largely been in the HPC market for large batch-oriented grids, but predicts an emerging opportunity focused primarily on the pooling and allocation of resources across a variety of business services.
The analyst's study warned that there remain "numerous and varied challenges" and obstacles to adoption, including lack of industry standards, a dearth of commercial applications running in grid environments and cultural concerns.
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