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One thing that many technical professionals dread is standardization. They don't want to be constrained. It limits creativity. They see it as the enemy of competition. And yet, what is the geoscientist's and the business manager's most common gripe? "I have too much software that's not standardized. I'm spending too much time and money on middleware to get different applications and platforms to function smoothly." It's not strictly an either/or situation. Individuals have individual needs. But the business case demands solutions that integrate as easily and reliably as possible across business and science applications. Thus, standardization must play a key role.
Less than a decade ago, parallel computing on clusters of small, yet powerful computers changed the computing landscape. This allowed large computational problems to be divided among a number of linked computers and solved somewhere other than a massive, central computing facility.
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