Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Roadmapping and the future ...

Its been a very busy month for Grid Computing Now! after the excitement and notable success of Grids Mean Business at OGF 20, see previous post, we've continued with a new Webinar on the Semantic Web, which shows significant promise in enabling the web to be more sensibly accessed. Certainly there is a growing opinion among IT leaders that the semantic layer is essential if we are to provide meaningful searches in the future. The idea that context and terminology could be made meaningful is an attractive extension to the web metaphor.

I was invited to contribute to IT Weeks most recent Green IT webinar during the month. It's just been posted on their website and in it you'll find more evidence for adopting the newer computing technologies of virtualisation and grid middleware, to help in improving efficiency in the data centre. There's also some practical help on how to get your own Green Strategy moving.

Just after this, I attended an EC FP6 CHALLENGERS project workshop in Spain. Nice work if you can get it! At this meeting several members of the Grid Computing Now! community came face to face with colleagues from the EC grid computing fraternity. This made for an exciting and energetic exchange of views about what grid is and is not; what todays best practices mean in terms of technologies and business processes; and a long list of types of Grid that you can identify if you look hard enough. I hope that this meeting was successful in bringing some genuine industry contribution and insight back into the broader scientific community. The report will be published during the summer and further meetings will be held in the autumn and winter.

Finally, Grid Computing Now! held its own Roadmapping event in London last week, May 30th. This was attended by an invited audience aimed at identifying some opportunities for IT to contribute further to the evolution of the Knowledge Economy. A lively day was the result with a wealth of interesting output generated, which will keep us busy for some time as we refine our plans for GCN 2.0! Thanks to all who participated! We'll be making the results and subsequent roadmaps available on the website early in the Autumn. In the meantime if you have an opinion about the future of grid computing; service orientation and web services, I'd be interested to hear.

I can't help but be struck by the contrast between the approaches adopted in the planning of the last two activities mentioned. One sought to validate an existing set of principles and thoughts; the other sought to generate new insight and ideas from the existing situation. Both promised to set exciting new directions for society in the future. The outcomes from each meeting were quite different. Time will tell!!