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IBM teams up with Avaki for grid initiative

IBM has announced that it is working with global grid pioneer Avaki to hasten the acceptance of its grid computing initiative outside the walls of academia and among commercial users.

As part of the alliance, Avaki will make its Avaki 2.1 software, a commercial package that integrates both data grid and compute grid functions, available to IBM as part of IBM's recently announced Grid Innovation Centre in France.

The Grid Innovation Centre is a place where users can explore a variety of grid technologies as well as learn about its potential commercial benefits.

Avaki's grid software will be available to IBM's European users and partners for demonstrations, prototyping of applications, and evaluations, a company spokesman said.

IBM's Life Sciences Division has also bought several Avaki software licences for its own internal use as well as for client evaluation purposes, according to a company spokesman.

"We are beginning to see tremendous demand for grid solutions in life sciences. We think Avaki's grid software, combined with our hardware platform, which Avaki now supports, should allow a much larger number of life science companies to take advantage of grid-based services," said Steve Beckhardt, engineer and chief architect of IBM's Life Sciences Solutions.

Officials from both companies claim to see an increasing demand outside of scientific markets, such as pharmaceuticals and bioinformatics, for grid technologies from a number of different commercial vertical markets.

"We are seeing demand from financial services and the manufacturing sectors. Our work with IBM, which began with the standards initiatives proposed at the Global Grid Forum in February, is now being extended by these efforts to inform and educate more customers," said Dave Fish, Avaki's president and chief executive officer.

Avaki will increase support for IBM's users by extending its computing platform to support AIX. Avaki's platform supports Linux, several Unix platforms and Windows.

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