Monday, December 14, 2009

The end of an era?

November was the final month for the mammoth BEinGRID Project. For the last 42 months the teams of technical and business consultants have been helping the development of 25 pilot implementations of Grid technologies in new business scenarios, ranging from film making to ship building. During this time they have advised each pilot on how to develop the technical solution and how they can put the technology to work through a business model that is tailored for them. They have analysed how each solution was built and elicited common functionalities between the pilots to create a portfolio of generic components that can be applied in numerous other scenarios. The business consultants have also looked for common ground between the scenarios, deriving a generic value chain and common business models for the sector in question. A legal research team has analysed the most important areas of international law for Grid start-ups such as contract law, licensing and taxation issues, additionally updating their work to make it equally valid for the new cloud computing paradigm.

However, the 98 partner consortium and particularly the coordinators Atos Origin cannot yet breathe that sigh of relief! It’s certainly not “end of the story” as administrative things go. Nor is it the end of the story of BEinGRID. With the growing interest in cloud computing, the work done in the project and its results are, now more than ever, of key interest to business. Many of the pilots are continuing their appraisal and uptake of these technologies within their sector and a number of areas for further collaborative investigation have spun off. What is more, the results have been compiled on the website and augmented with external key results, as well, including exclusive analyst reports from the 451 Group. Four consortium partners: Atos Origin, CETIC, NTUA and EPCC are investing in the long term use of this site which will continue to be a point of reference to the grid and cloud computing community for years to come. The IT-Tude blog is becoming recognised as a source of expert opinions on the subject from leading voices in ICT. The site is soon to unveil an associate program where organisations, associations, projects and individuals can become members of the site and disseminate their material and profile in their own web space to the growing number of site users.

Additionally, project has released a new version of its case-study booklet, updated with all 25 pilots, and circulated in the FIA /Servicewave event in Stockholm this November with the launch of two new books available through Springer: One for the business sector: "Grid and Cloud Computing - A Business Perspective on Technology and Applications" and one for the technical community “Service Oriented Infrastructures and Cloud Service Platforms for the Enterprise - A selection of common capabilities validated in real-life business trials by the BEinGRID consortium" .

So. The end of an era, or the dawn of a new beginning? One thing is for certain, BEinGRID has made its mark. Its legacy; in further research, in increased use of grids and clouds, in IT-Tude and in strengthened exploitation of cutting edge technology, particularly by its SMEs will continue for years to come.

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