I find it interesting that both Google and Yahoo are getting involved in super computers – and hiring or loaning out the results to others. The following article makes the point:
Yahoo! outsources! India’s! giant! supercomputer!
This is a HP/Yahoo initiative that seems to be a match for a recent IBM/Google move.
The idea of hiring out computer power is obviously not new. Sun are already in the market to hire computing power and deliver it to organisations using the Internet. It is interesting to speculate as to why Yahoo and Google want to hire out this technology to academics. I wonder if they see themselves as better placed to deliver this computing for hire to business than the traditional technology companies. If there were a realistic possibility of hiring short term processing power for small to medium businesses then I can see there may be a market for it. This is not, of course, the reason that is given in the press releases.