3/5/2003 - Sun Microsystems announced the completion of the proposed specification for the Distributed Resource Management Application API (DRMAA), one of the first specifications to enable the development and deployment of high performance grid applications. Providing "write-once" capabilities to any DRM system that supports DRMAA, the specification makes it possible for new applications -- both enterprise and technical -- to be used in a grid environment, thereby dramatically expanding the reach of grid computing.
The DRMAA specification, an initiative co-chaired by Sun and Intel, was developed in collaboration with other industry players, including Cadence Design Systems, HP, IBM, Platform Computing, Robarts Research Institute, and Veridian Systems. The specification provides for the submission and control of jobs to one or more DRM systems, enabling application developers to consider an entire virtualized grid of compute resources -- rather than a single computer system -- as the target application execution environment. As a result, new applications can more easily be written to fully leverage the advantages offered by distributed computing.
"With the Distributed Resource Management Application API specification, we're creating the impetus for a fundamental shift in the adoption of grid computing," said John Tollefsrud, DRMAA working group co-chair and Sun Microsystems' Grid Marketing Manager. "DRMAA helps achieve three goals: first, it provides a standard on which ISVs can more efficiently create new applications to run in distributed environments; second, it makes grid deployment and management easier for system administrators; and third, it swings the doors wide open to more enhanced applications that can deliver richer, more powerful end-user experiences."
New Spec Benefits DRM Vendors, ISVs, System Integrators, System Administrators and End Users
Providing a single interface to DRM resources, DRMAA substantially eliminates a problem currently facing commercial software developers -- proprietary interfaces which make it difficult to integrate applications with DRM systems. End users should also benefit from new powerful applications capable of putting the power of grid computing at their fingertips.
DRM Suppliers: DRMAA is expected to substantially accelerate the adoption of direct interfaces to DRM systems, where adoption of proprietary interfaces has traditionally been low. Suppliers will also be able to focus on competitive differentiators for their products, since the new specification is expected to greatly reduce integration issues for end users.
ISVs: With a "write-once" interface to all DRMAA-compliant DRM systems, application developers will be able to provide user interfaces to DRM-managed resources from within the context of the application as well as gain programmatic access to all the grid-enabled systems.
System Integrators and Administrators: DRMAA is expected to substantially minimize the complexity associated with developing and maintaining integrated application environments.
Following review by the Global Grid Forum steering committee and the grid computing community, Sun plans to create a reference implementation of the DRMAA specification in the Grid Engine open source project, which can be accessed via http://gridengine.sunsource.net. As with all of its previous open source activities, Sun has pledged its contributions will be available on a royalty-free basis.
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