Friday, October 07, 2005

Not Done Googling after All...

I said "enough Google talk for me...until they announce a grid computing product." And I changed my mind; here's one final(?) post on them.

It's Greg Nawrocki's fault; he has a post today about Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and how important they may become for grid computing.

Greg's having a bad day because of some connectivity problems; this caused him to reflect on the concept of SOAs:

While I cannot currently exchange e-mail, I can use applications local to my computer. If I were part of a grid based SOA environment where my applications may not be local to me I'd be putting pen to paper right now.
Which again leads me to believe that the folks at Sun and Google can't possibly be thinking about making StarOffice available as a service. It just doesn't make sense for an application like that. I do lots of work in office applications when I don't have connectivity.

However, what does make sense?

Well, you've got a company that's a pioneer at selling CPU time by the hour. You've got a company that runs a grid of over 100,000 servers. And, by some accounts, you've got an operating system that has been enhanced to allow ease of distributed computing.

To me, that adds up to, perhaps, the largest grid-for-hire in the world. That may be what Google and Sun are hiding behind the curtain.

Now, as I said here, this doesn't necessarily make the Googlegrid the best thing since sliced bread. First of all, if you're going to use it, you have to be comfortable with your code, your data, your all-important IP leaving your building. And second, you're going to have to rewrite at least some of your code to run on a different OS.

For some people, those obstacles won't be too unpalatable. But for many people, the idea of porting your code just so it can run on someone else's machines won't be quite so attractive.