Powers Unfiltered

An entrepreneur’s journey into grid computing and partnering with Microsoft, by John Powers

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Digipede and Other Grid Options

May 18th, 2006 · No Comments

We get questions about how the Digipede Network compares to Vendor X or Open Source Project Y pretty often; a recent example is from Matt Davey’s Tales from a Trading Desk, where Matt asked:

.NET Grid Computing. Not sure what it’s advantages are over and above
DataSynapse. Would be interested to know if anyone has reviewed Digipede?  

In terms of editorial reviews, you may want to check out a recent comparison of Sun Grid and Digipede in CRN by Mario Morejon, or Mario’s more complete review from last month, or Rick Wayne’s review in Software Development Magazine.

Nat picked up  right away on one of the leading points of differentiation — we’ve put a lot of emphasis on ease of implementation, ease of use, and especially ease of programming.  We’ve looked at a lot of other solutions in the market, and talked with a lot of customers and potential customers.  In our assessment, the main thing holding back the grid computing market is needless complexity.  From Day One, Digipede has made specific market and engineering decisions to strip away complexity.  If this means there are some bells and whistles we omit, great — we’ve yet to lose a sale over a missing bell or whistle, and we’ve closed sales based on our ability to implement our system quickly and painlessly for our customers.

Another key point is right there in Matt’s question — we’re focused on the Microsoft side of the market.  While there are many options on the Linux / Java / IBM side of the market, we’ve made the decision to focus on making the best tools available for Windows, which is the market and technology we know best.  DataSynapse has had a lot of success in the market, and they’ve got happy customers.  They work quite closely with IBM, and for customers who have made certain key platform decisions, that’s great.  For the increasing number of enterprises with a significant commitment to .NET, we offer the best available SDK for Microsoft developers, and the best available integration with the whole Microsoft stack.

There was also a comment about Alchemi on Matt’s blog, which included the statement:

My thoughts are that eventually we’ll see an Open Source product outstrip the main vendors, but that seems like a while off yet.

I have to say — there’s Open Source projects, and Open Source projects.  Linux, Apache, Firefox and others that have gathered a critical mass of users and developers offer some very interesting advantages.  Alchemi is a small project with few users and fewer developers.  It is an interesting proof of concept with some fine technical capabilities, and I’m sure it has some enthusiastic supporters.  I am NOT anti-open-source; find someone else to flame about that.  But when a business decides to adopt a software product (regardless of licensing model), the main costs are not in licensing but in the cost of implementation, integration, training, and daily user experience.  There has to be a certain level of QA, support, and commitment to a roadmap of future enhancements before most businesses will adopt any product, and Alchemi has not crossed that threshhold for any business we’ve encountered; we have yet to lose a sale to a business who was considering Alchemi. 

Tags: Events · Partnering with Microsoft

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