MANY UNIVERSITIES TURN TO SUN FOR GRID SOLUTIONS

By Nicole Hemsoth

November 15, 2004

MANY UNIVERSITIES TURN TO SUN FOR GRID SOLUTIONS

Universities from around the globe, including the College of William and Mary, Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas, and Pennsylvania State University are using Sun Microsystems’ Grid computing technologies to enhance their academic research centers and improve their return on investment. Impressive research including the use of a visual Grid to analyze time-critical problems of emergency response management or compute intensive studies on earthquake simulation and bioinformatics are proving the tremendous value that Grid deployments can have. By leveraging a Grid computing infrastructure from Sun, these universities can lower their costs and maximize their resources, all within a secure environment that enables collaboration both within and outside of the university.

“Universities are leading the Grid revolution, whether it’s to power diverse research efforts in biotechnology or advanced weather simulation, or simply to virtualize and share compute resources with greater efficiency,” said Kim Jones, vice president of global education and research at Sun Microsystems Inc. “These research facilities have proven the overall value and business benefits of Grid computing, not only to improve performance, but also to enhance productivity and reduce costs.”

College of William & Mary SciClone Cluster Powers Academic Research And Enhances Classroom Curriculum

The College of William & Mary, founded in 1693, is the second oldest public university in the nation. Students from seven science departments work directly with the school’s SciClone cluster, a Solaris OS-based environment including Sun Fire servers and Sun StorEdge software and hardware. Between 300 and 400 users utilize 207 server nodes and 14 terabytes of storage running Solaris OS and Sun StorEdge QFS software to conduct large-scale computations in a wide variety of disciplines including computer science, physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and marine science. From the college’s freshmen course on DNA analysis and sequencing to its research utilizing parallel mesh generation to create highly-detailed three-dimensional models used in simulations for applications in aerospace, medicine and several engineering fields, academic research and classroom curriculum are forever changed.

Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) Brings 3-D Graphics Technology to Remote Users Nationwide

The University of Texas at Austin’s TACC is using Maverick, a new UltraSPARC-based supercomputer with 3D visualization capability, to provide compute power, storage resources and visualization capabilities to researchers, scientists and engineers nationwide on the National Science Foundation’s TeraGrid. The high-performance Grid-based computer is built to accelerate large-scale data analysis and remote terascale visualization for time-critical problems like global weather prediction, emergency response management and homeland security.

Pennsylvania State University Enables Researchers To Probe The Universe And Propel Computational Research

Penn State, a national leader in interdisciplinary education and research, has completed two new initiatives. The Pleiades cluster, built with 128 Sun Fire V60x, is part of the International Virtual Data Grid Laboratory (iVDGL), an international computational laboratory of unprecedented scale and scope, comprised of heterogeneous computing and storage resources across the world, linked by high-speed networks and operated as a single system for the purposes of interdisciplinary experimentation in Grid-enabled data-intensive scientific computing. The cluster is dedicated to the analysis of data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), an NSF-supported facility that is designed to detect gravitational waves as a new tool for use in making astronomical discoveries. The Lion-XO cluster, built with 84 Sun Fire V20z servers connected with both infiniband and gigabit ethernet technologies, meets the ever-growing computational needs of over 500 researchers in the fields of engineering (aerospace, chemical, mechanical), meteorology, chemistry, physics, biology, materials science, mathematics, statistics and more. Researchers are solving problems requiring large-memory and extremely fast networking.

About Sun Microsystems Inc

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer” — has propelled Sun Microsystems Inc to its position as a 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.com/.

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