Forman advocates commodity grid computing

Forman advocates commodity grid computing

Agencies need to start looking at computing capacity as a commodity adaptable to meet changing needs, former e-government chief Mark Forman said yesterday.

Forman, now executive vice president of Cassatt Corp. of Menlo Park, Calif., spoke at a Washington conference on adaptive computing sponsored by Hewlett-Packard Co.

Low-cost Linux servers with Intel processors are fast replacing proprietary technology, Forman said. Soon agencies can count on linking server capacity and Web services to business processes as needed, he said.

Federal acquisition officials should stop buying systems for unique needs, Forman said. Also, congressional appropriators should embrace funding decisions that leverage enterprisewide buys.

Along with new buying approaches, IT officials will need new skills in Linux, grid computing, service-oriented architecture and management tools, Forman said.

During a conference discussion, Dawn Meyerriecks, chief technology officer of the Defense Information Systems Agency, said military IT has done a 'pretty good job of standardization' but needs to improve its agility.

Census Bureau CIO Richard W. Swartz predicted that cost savings will be the biggest driver of IT change

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