San Jose, CA — Sun Microsystems has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Gridware, Inc., a privately held software company with 26 employees, with headquarters in San Jose, CA, and subsidiary in Regensburg, Germany. In January this year, Gridware itself resulted from a merger of Genias Software GmbH & Inc. and Chord Systems, Inc., both with a strong focus on distributed computing resource management software for networked clusters of computers, like the recently announced Sun Technical Compute Farm TCF, for e.g. compute-intensive industrial and scientific application simulations in electronic design automation, mechanical computer-aided design and engineering, or molecular modeling.
The two core products, base Codine and Global Resource Director GRD for more sophisticated management of distributed hardware and software, have been developed by Genias engineers since 1993, in projects mainly funded by the European Commission and the German Government, and development based on cooperations with Florida State University and Raytheon, among others. Chord Systems has been a successful reseller and service provider for this kind of software, since 1995.
Technology like Codine and GRD enables end-users to submit their compute-intensive jobs to a compute farm with a single-system image, looking like one central virtual mainframe. For the system administrator, these tools provide full control over and central management of the (usually heterogeneous) networked computing resources. And the upper management of the company can be assured that compute resources are exactly used according to company policies.
“Sun got the brain for the body”, said Wolfgang Gentzsch, chief technology officer at Gridware, and founder of Genias Software GmbH in 1990. “Codine/GRD operates very much like our human central nervous system: The brain (resp. the Codine Master Module) is keeping track of the status of all elements in the body (resp. the computers and the software in the network) and sensors for touching, tasting, hearing, smelling and watching, are dynamically reporting back their status to the brain. The brain then uses all this information to make efficient use of all our resources available.”
Although Sun itself has a similar technology in use and has profound expertise in setting up large complex compute farms, it choses to acquire Gridware to get a market-ready and customer-proven product which can handle thousands of computers in a network. In the beginning, Codine will be bundled with the Sun Technical Compute Farms, TCF, at no cost. Sun will take this technology further into mainstream of technical computing and drive it forward to a wider standard and to ubiquity. In addition, Sun will continue Gridware’s strategy to port to and support other platforms as well, through partners. Further announcements about Sun’s product strategy will be made during the next couple of months.
“This merger of Gridware into Sun was an ideal marriage”, Wolfgang Gentzsch said.”Our tools are complementary to Sun’s offerings, they provide Sun customers with an elegant and complete hardware/software solution and enable customers to fully exploit their resources. And Sun stays at the forefront of computing, with a technology which is nearly ready for ASP application service provider infrastructure and for the GRID. And finally, we have the same vision: The network is the computer! With Codine, indeed, the many computers together in a network are treated like one single machine. And this network can even be the Internet.”
“Sun will honor all commitments to existing Gridware customers,”said Jack Faraone, Gridware’s chief executive officer, “Products will continue to be sold and supported by Gridware, as usual during transition. In the future, products will be made available through Sun’s normal channels and will be supported eventually by Sun’s Enterprise Services.”
All Gridware employees have been offered a position in Sun, in Palo Alto and in Regensburg. They will become part of Sun’s Workstation Product Group. For more information on Gridware’s products and technology, please see http://www.gridware.com .