DISPLAY grid or display GRID?

Most grid uses these days are "compute" grids. As we start to look at some other interesting concepts of "grid" usage one that has been mentioned has been the "display grid". However, as I think about this it seems that the term really spans a continuum of possibilities.

Is it a DISPLAY grid ... or a display GRID?

DISPLAY grid to me implies that the primary usage/focus is around the concept of "display". Whether that is a web browser based environment to a single/few selected apps to a fully blown desktop environment. The focus is on the interactive usage. The grid portion than gets brought into the concept in two ways. First, the architecture used to deliver the display functionality could/may be based upon common grid architectures. Second is that there is a desire to use unused cpu cycles to do "tradional" grid computing tasks. This scenario would be typified by things like ... delivery of web based kiosks or "simple" web based vertical solutions.

display GRID than is the total opposite of the first scenario. The primary usage/focus is around the grid computing aspects and that secondary to the grid computing might be the display of the results of the grid computing tasks. This scenario would be typified by things like ... animation rendering, molecular modeling, dna sequencing etc... You might want to be able to display from the grid simply because the volume of the date is such that moving it would be tedious, or, it's a very iterative/interactive process that the user is involved in.

That's my thoughts... what do you think?

The way I'd look at that distinction is that "display" is just one of many grid services, i.e., a service specializing in delivering rendering instructions to a screen. Since an important aspect of "the grid" is that users must from time to time interact with grid services, display services directly facilitate human interaction with other grid services. So I'd say it's "just" the grid, with display services facilitating a user interface.

Inasmuch as display services are delivered over IP (display-over-IP), they are similar to voice-over-IP. In fact, many interesting things can be built if we think of voice over IP as a grid service as well (perhaps facilitating human interaction with other humans, i.e., telephony, or with machines, and even as an accessible, alternate UI for those who cannot interact with a grid service via a visual display service). For instance, I could image using a voice-over-IP UI when accessing a remote desktop while driving or jogging, i.e., to read emails, or to instruct my email program to forward a file to someone. Then, back in the office, I'd access that same desktop via a SunRay, for instance.

I think that considering displays as just one of many grid services is very useful, as it helps rephrase the problem of how one might architect truly useful grid-based systems.

Posted by Frank Sommers on June 17, 2005 at 08:47 PM EDT #

Thanks for the comments! In general I agree with you. This would be the ideal situation. From a practical aspect though building this in a multi-tenent (aka multiple companies) environment will be difficult since data/users etc... will need to be isolated from each other. So for some initial trials/attempts at a display grid there might need to be some other partitioning etc.. of this environment from the "general use" compute grid. Or more likely a seperation of the various "display grids" from each other but allowed to also be used by the general "compute" grid. Also, an environment that only supports a "limited" user experience (such as only a web browser) will be easier to attempt than that of a full blown desktop experience.

Posted by guest on June 20, 2005 at 01:14 AM EDT #

Hi I work for a Sun distributor (not reseller) in New Zealand and am trialing the Gobi7 Sun Ray 2 compliant laptop. I would be very keen to see if I can connect this into your Display grid. Is this possible please? it would be a great demo piece. Thanks.

Posted by Michael Lasham on March 04, 2007 at 07:07 PM EST #

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