Business Grids, Infrastructuring the Future of ICT

Business Grids, Infrastructuring the Future of ICT

Carmelo Ragusa
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-686-5.ch011
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Over the past years we have witnessed a shift in the market towards service orientation. Companies in the coming service market need to be extremely agile. This agility is needed at all levels from business to low level ICT in order to reflect the changes in business needs. Particularly, at application level the adoption of the SOA paradigm is already a reality. Software frameworks allowing creation, composition and orchestration of business processes enabling intra and inter collaborations are already available. Obviously, this has given a boost towards the widespread adoption of this approach. Old software vendors have service-enabled their offers, while new opportunities have been filled by new players and more will come in the future. On the other hand, at infrastructure level agility needs to be enforced. However, the infrastructure on which this market has grown so far is not able to fully leverage its potential. Business Grids are envisaged to become the infrastructure backbone for the future of ICT. This will have a relevant impact on the economy and will give support for the emergence of new services and applications. Composition and orchestration of resources is already offered by Grid, although towards more science-oriented goals. Specifically, high performance computing resources are shared among Grid participants, mainly executing stateless batch jobs. As opposite, Business Grids aim to provide support for general business applications, usually multi-tier solutions made of application servers and databases. Data consistency in business transactions is fundamental. This chapter discusses the role of Business Grids in the coming service market, analyzing relevant scenarios and providing a roadmap towards full development and adoption of this technology within the commercial arena. (See appendix for acronym guide).
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Setting The Ground

This section discusses the current research in Grid context that influences the Business Grid area. The main research projects are reviewed for the purpose and summarized in Table 1.

Table 1.
Relevant Grid initiatives
Country/iesSitesCoresCapacity in teraflopsJobs/dayMiddleware

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cloud Computing: The ability to provide IT capabilities as services.

Business Grids: Infrastructure supporting general business applications, providing dynamic and agile functionalities.

Semantic Grids: A Grid featuring ontologies processes.

Scalable Enterprise: Enterprise’s infrastructure and services able to scale with demands.

Utility Computing: The ability to supply computational and storage resources as traditional public utility services.

Dynamic (or Organic) IT: An infrastructure system able to dynamically modify its functionalities and services.

Computation on Demand: A system able to provide computation when required.

SOKU: Service Oriented Knowledge Utility where affirmed and emerging technologies such as Grid, Web services, semantic techniques converge to provide knowledge-based, utility like services.

Sustainable IT: An infrastructure managed in a sustainable fashion.

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