The fist step for UPS is to consolidate, streamline and do better than the competition rater than hunting for raw horse power in computing. How do they do it? well by starting on multiple frontiers.
“Using technology to differentiate ourselves from our competitors has always been fundamental to our success, and it’s one of the reasons we’re moving forward with [grid] technology,” Brian Cucci, manager of the Advanced Technology Group at UPS said during a Webcast last week with DataSynapse, the company that supplies the Atlanta-based company its grid software.
The software, called Grid Server, is now in production use at UPS and lets the company distribute a billing invoice application that once ran on an expensive mainframe across a group of cheaper x86 systems running Linux.
For UPS, grid computing was just another piece in its evolving IT puzzle, which is aimed at reducing costs and improving efficiency. The company’s Technology Directions Subcommittee, which is made up of representatives from across the organization and reports to the CIO, is charged with keeping track of hot technologies, determining which can best bring business value.
Grid computing gained priority and moved to the top of the group’s radar screen last year, because it fit in nicely with several other technology projects that either were underway at UPS or were in the planning stages, Cucci said. Those projects include virtualization and consolidation efforts, as well as an initiative to move to a computing-on-demand approach to IT that focuses on the use of low-priced commodity hardware.
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