Sun Uses Building Block to Help Customers Make Sense of Grid Computing

11/13/2003 - Sun announced the next phase of its grid computing strategy that uses "building blocks" to tailor grids to the specific needs of customers. Sun's Grid Everywhere initiative is driven by its High Performance and Technical Computing group which supports the market that has led the way in Grid Computing; Sun has been a leader in grid computing for over four years. The new building blocks provide an array of expertise, products, technologies, alliances, and services to design form-fitting grid architectures that help customers achieve higher utilization of their existing resources and provide users with access to resources that they may not have within their networks.

"Grid computing is about building local or global trade exchanges for compute capacity and data access," said Shahin Khan, Sun's vice president of high performance and technical computing. "It is at the tipping point of moving from grass-roots deployment to becoming a business imperative. As is often the case, the science and engineering market place is the early adopter of technology and a perfect proving ground for new technologies. Extensive HPTC collaborations provide Sun with the required expertise and a unique perspective on the readiness of such technologies for deployment in business computing."

Building Block Approach
Sun's building blocks for grid come in four categories: access, data, computation, and visualization.

Sun's "access software" enables efficient usage of resources regardless of location and is provided through a new Grid Portal solution that relies on the Sun Grid Engine Enterprise Edition (SGEEE) software and the industry standard Globus toolkit.

Sun's data grid solutions rely on the Sun StorEdge Open SAN Architecture, the Sun StorEdge 3510 FC array, and Sun StorEdge SAM-FS and QFS software for unprecedented speed, efficiency and flexibility. Data Grid solutions enable the collection, management, and protection of data regardless of user or data location.

The Sun Fire Compute Grid family couples Sun Fire systems with a choice of interconnect technologies. This approach provides excellent price-performance with clusters of small systems as well as excellent price/productivity with superclusters that utilize very large memory and simplified programming environments. Interconnect choices range from as Gigabit Ethernet switches, Myrinet, Infiniband, Quadrics, or the Sun Fire Link interconnect.

Visualization grids enable applications to perform graphics operations using local or remote graphics systems. Sun's Visual Grid platform is based on the Sun Fire V880z, the XVR-4000 high-speed graphics subsystem, and specialized software based on the OpenGL industry standard.

Sun's Grid Reference Architecture provides a tested, tuned, and documented framework for the deployment of these building blocks. Sun's Customer Ready Systems (CRS) program integrates these building blocks and complementary third-party hardware and software products into "ready-to-deploy" solutions that are built in Sun factories, based on a customer's specifications. These are supported by a global professional services practice focused on grid deployments.

Grid Everywhere
Sun's Grid Everywhere initiative features a three-pronged approach to grid deployment based on building block components, extensive partnerships and alliances. It focuses on the HPTC market as the early-adopters of technologies that over time gain broad acceptance in business computing. Grid Everywhere is led by Sun's HPTC business unit, which was formed six months ago to leverage Sun's deep experience in HPTC and its broad portfolio of products and solutions to grow Sun's stake in high performance technical computing.

As a pioneer in computing innovation, Sun aims to successfully convert its leading-edge R&D into commercial products with broad market acceptance. Sun's HPTC Group targets the early-adopter segments and seeks the opportunities that can accelerate the development and deployment of technologies that hold promise. A recent example of this is the DARPA partnership with Sun Labs to research and develop technologies for innovative high productivity computing systems (HPCS) capable of addresssing Department of Defense (DoD) high-performance requirements.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Sun Fire, StorEdge and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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