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Adobe has allied with GridIron Software to deliver the first mass market grid product. This is a version of Adobe After Effects that can be bought through retail channels and is designed to enable smaller businesses to use grid techniques, where processes are run over a pool of low cost networked servers.

The new version of After Effects, which produces motion graphics and other effects for film and the web, will incorporate the GridIron XLR8 product. This will distribute the work among several computers on a network to speed up preview and rendering work.

GridIron provides a toolkit for developers to modify existing applications to run on grids without having to use complex message passing protocols. The company claims that, not only does this make adoption of grid far simpler, it also realizes performance improvements with a grid of as few as two computers, bringing it within the reach of small companies. This is what has caught Adobe’s eye – since most digital content creation outfits are small, this has not been a sector where grid has been seen as viable.

GridIron also upgraded XLR8 to version 2.0, including better security and more network efficient data transfer mechanisms. The software now runs on Windows, Sun Solaris, Mac OS X and Linux and supports Java and C/C++ languages.

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