DCGrid broadens apps support

Entropia upgrade

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Entropia, a provider of PC compute grid solutions recently announced DCGrid 5.1, the latest revision of its grid software that improves application deployment and grid resource management support.

PC compute grids are being widely used in the life sciences, manufacturing and financial services industries for compute intensive applications such as drug research, portfolio and risk analysis as well as electronic design automation.

With these enhancements, Entropia is making it easier for existing customers to deploy and manage grid applications, while also helping overcome barriers-to-entry such as application design and management - hoping to increase PC grid appeal and attract customers from other industries and vertical markets.

One aspect of PC grids that limits broad enterprise acceptance is that many applications are not specifically designed to run in distributed grid environments. DCGrid 5.1 includes features that increase the number and type of applications that can run effectively and efficiently on PC grids. Entropia claims that applications can be grid-enabled using DCGrid 5.1 in hours - without porting or retooling.

Another grid-related issue involves accessing and optimally managing PCs. DCGrid 5.1 provides IS managers and administrators with greater control over how and when PC compute cycles are accessed. IS managers have direct (remote) control over PCs - enabling IS managers/administrators to troubleshoot PCs without leaving the help centre/administration centre.

Security has been another hurdle that PC grid makers have struggled to address. Although the average PC is underused more than 90% of the time, the average PC user is reluctant to give up his 'personal' computer to run company jobs.

Entropia has had historically a strong focus on ensuring that a PC user's environment remains separate and distinct from that of the distributed grid application. This release offers enhanced levels of resource harvesting for users to allow more assertive use of PC resources during non-working hours and less assertive policies during normal working hours.

All in all, the DCGrid 5.1 release gets us one step closer to seeing widespread enterprise grid use. Ultimately, it will be application support, ease of management, and strong security that will drive the acceptance of large-scale inter- and intra-enterprise grids.

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