CRN magazine ("Vital Information for VARs and Technology Integrators") released an article today on Sun Grid (Sun's CEO is Jonathan Schwartz) and the Digipede Network (Digipede's CEO is John Powers): Review: Gridlock Alert For Sun Grid?
The article's subhead says it all:
Analysis finds hidden costs in Sun platform, while competing Digipede offering shinesNow, I'm not sure that the Digipede Network is really a competing offering--after all, Sun Grid lets you rent distributed computing on Solaris boxes by the CPU hour, while the Digipede Network lets you use your own Windows machines (without any hourly charges).
The reviewers found was that Sun Grid was extremely difficult to use. "In the end, the Test Center was unable to complete the project as originally planned, even with the help of Sun engineers." Ouch.
How about doing the same job using the Digipede Network? "The difference in ease of use in Sun Grid vs. Digipede was enormous."
How so? Well, they didn't have to rewrite their application to use NetBeans--the Digipede Network is just as comfortable distributing command-line executables as it is distributing .NET objects--they just used their existing app. They used the Digipede Workbench Job Wizard to define their job ("developers need not learn how to build scripts"). And the result:
Test Center engineers completed the Digipede job in less than one hour vs. five hours for Sun Grid.Mind you, the five hours they mention aren't the $1 per hour kind: they're talking about human effort time. Expensive time. User time. In less than an hour, they had the Digipede Network up and running their jobs: no recompiling, no relinking, no rearchitecting, and no strange scripting.
One side note: while we love the Microsoft development tools, we know not everyone uses them. In this article, they mention that they built their application using the DOS GNU compiler. We have customers using development platforms as diverse as PHP and Python, as well as many different flavors of Microsoft platforms.