IBM trumpets new grid products, customers

IBM Corp. Wednesday unveiled grid computing applications tailored to companies in banking and financial industries. At the same time, Big Blue announced ongoing grid projects with a handful of commercial and institutional customers including Morgan Stanley and Hewitt Associates LLC.

IBM teamed with business intelligence software maker SAS Institute Inc. for one of its new vertical grid applications, Grid Offering for Analytics Acceleration. The software incorporates SAS’s credit scoring application and is aimed at providing banking customers with tools for mining customer information and generating sophisticated statistical models more quickly, IBM says.

The IBM Grid Offering for Risk Management and Compliance, which IBM developed with partner DataSynapse, is aimed at businesses in the capital markets and retail banking industries. The product is designed to help risk managers create a grid infrastructure that can support real-time credit limit monitoring.

Separately, IBM announced new partnerships with grid middleware providers Avaki and United Devices. Avaki makes grid software for integrating data sources and computing resources, while United Devices offers distributed computing software and services for building enterprise grids from existing compute resources.

On the customer front, IBM revealed it has been working with Morgan Stanley to migrate the firm’s analytical applications to a grid of several hundred Intel servers. So far, IBM has shown it can significantly improve performance of Morgan Stanley’s financial analytic applications, said Richard Anfang, managing director at the financial services firm, in a statement. Morgan Stanley is looking at distributed computing as part of a strategy to improve the flexibility and utilization of its computing assets, Anfang said.

For outsourcing and human resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates, IBM helped build a grid computing infrastructure for the company’s pension modeling application. The system combines IBM’s eServer zSeries mainframe, IBM’s BladeCenter blade servers, and DataSynapse’s GridServer software. With the grid infrastructure, Hewitt has been able to reduce its transaction costs by 90 per cent without rewriting its applications, IBM says.

IBM also has grid computing projects underway at NLI Research Institute, a division of Nippon Life Insurance Group; Singapore educational institute Ngee Ann Polytechnic; Deutsche Telecom division T-Systems and French educational institute Institut National de Physique Nucleaire et de Physique des Particules.

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