Transition of Grid computing from education to life sciences brings immense opportunities

Dublin 30 March 2007Research and Markets has added the Frost & Sullivan report: "European Markets for Grid Computing in Life Sciences R&D" to their offering. This Frost & Sullivan research service provides a detailed analysis, including the challenges faced by the Grid computing industry, market drivers, restraints, geographic and technology trends, and strategic recommendations.

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The European Grid computing market is in its initial growth stages but has been experiencing continuous development. Grid computing is an emerging, but highly promising solution for life sciences R&D, as it allows multiple high-end tasks to be processed with greater speed and accuracy than previously used methods. This solution has provoked tremendous interest among life sciences companies, which are already adopting it to enhance their research processes and hence, increase the number of discoveries.

Grid computing represents a major step towards the maximisation of under-utilised resources. Its other important applications include centralised use of distributed processing resources and load balancing to reduce peak loads. Life sciences companies that have already adopted Grid computing are employing it in a variety of applications including DNA sequencing, molecular modelling, proteomic studies and genomic studies.

In Europe, Grid computing was initially used in educational research and government-funded projects, and its adoption by commercial organisations has started gathering pace only in recent years. "The transition in adoption from universities to commercial customers is a significant achievement for the Grid computing market", notes the analyst of this research service. "This is because commercial organisations implement solutions on a much larger scale; therefore, the growth of the Grid computing market would be proportional to that implementation."

Cost reduction potential is another major factor likely to influence the rate of adoption. Due to the utilisation of spare server capacity and the resultant positive impact on work efficiency, companies are likely to incur lesser costs on IT resources.

Europe offers significant opportunities for Grid computing, with most of its regions yet to be fully explored. There is a growing need for computing on a very large scale, and this need can be fulfilled in the most cost-effective way by Grid computing, compared to other potential technologies such as supercomputing and cluster computing. "Many organisations can and do adopt Grid computing due to its cost-effectiveness and widespread utility", says the analyst. "Grid computing is conceivably the least expensive way to obtain maximum resources."

Opportunities abound in the pharmaceutical and biomedical sectors because of the increasing number of potential users as well as the intensive research activity in these sectors. For instance, the process of drug discovery requires millions of molecules to be screened before arriving at a particular molecule. This calls for very high computational power for faster and accurate results, something that Grid computing technology has the potential to address.

Given that these industries have been progressively adopting this technology as it develops over the years, the potential for its growth appears substantial. Grid providers must take note of these opportunities and fully explore them in order to penetrate further into these markets. For more information about the report, you can visit the Research and Markets web site.


Leslie Versweyveld

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