The provider side


The overall grid market comprises several specific markets. These are the grid middleware market, the market for grid-enabled applications, the utility computing market, and the software-as-a-service (SaaS) market.

Grid middleware is a specific software product, which enables the sharing of heterogeneous resources, and Virtual Organizations. It is installed and integrated into the existing infrastructure of the involved company or companies, and provides a special layer placed among the heterogeneous infrastructure and the specific user applications. Major grid middlewares are Globus Toolkit, gLite, and UNICORE.

Utility computing is referred to as the provision of grid computing and applications as service either as an open grid utility or as a hosting solution for one organization or a VO. Major players in the utility computing market are Sun Microsystems, IBM, and HP.

Grid-enabled applications are specific software applications that can utilize grid infrastructure. This is made possible by the use of grid middleware, as pointed out above.

Software as a service (SaaS) is “software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers.” (Gartner 2007) Additionally, SaaS applications are based on a single set of common code and data definitions. They are consumed in a one-to-many model, and SaaS uses a Pay As You Go (PAYG) model or a subscription model that is based on usage. Providers of SaaS do not necessarily own the computing resources themselves, which are required to run their SaaS. Therefore, SaaS providers may draw upon the utility computing market. The utility computing market provides computing resources for SaaS providers.