Sunday Jun 01, 2008

Sun's renders computer-animated movie "Big Buck Bunny"

Over the weekend, the "Big Buck Bunny" movie was released online. It is an "open movie" -- a very interesting concept. And we were a part of it!

Check out the details here.

Monday Oct 08, 2007

Smoke and Fire at

Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS), a computer program for modeling fire and smoke flow, is now available from the Application Catalog. FDS numerically solves a form of the Navier-Stokes equations appropriate for low-speed, thermally driven flow with an emphasis on smoke and heat transport from fires.

(OK, that's a very fancy way of saying it needs to solve complicated differential equations that are very compute intensive and lends themselves beautifully for processing in a grid utility. ;-) )

FDS is developed by NIST, and is used for fire and smoke modeling for animation (think FDS when you see cars going up flames in a Pixar movie), sprinkler activation in warehouse fires, tenability in residential fires, and smoke concentration in outdoor pool fires.
Fire Image
(Image courtesy: Wei O'Connell)

Bottom line, it is a very useful program for predicting smoke and fire. Learn more about it in Application Catalog, and if you are a developer/modeler, here is how to run the program at

Wednesday Sep 26, 2007

How is evolving?

Derrick Harris of Grid Today is writing a two-part article on the origin of utility computing and how it has evolved over the years. Sun's is positioned as grid computing for the masses, but you'd get ample hints of what's coming down the pike... ;-)

Check it out here.

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Tuesday Sep 11, 2007

Computer Aided Engineering made easy at Application Catalog has a number of useful finite element analysis tools that are widely used in Computer Aided Engineering.

Calculix is one of these free software applications -- it does nonlinear three dimensional finite element analysis for structural applications like static structure problems (bridge and building design), buckling, dynamic applications (crash, earthquake resistance) and eigenmode analysis (resonance phenomena). Calculix comes with a preprocessor to generate and mesh the structures, and a postprocessor to view the results by means of contour plots and animation. Kinda fancy, if you ask me. :-)

Now Calculix is an ideal choice for running on Sun Grid Compute Utility as it is an compute intensive application. The team has ported Calculix to run on the Sun Grid, and the results of running this application on the grid as compared with those running serially are really encouraging.

If you're an CAE engineer trying to run finite element analysis, check out this site to learn how to run this application on with your own data.
Calculix on Sun Grid Developer Website

Thursday Sep 06, 2007 powering Brookhaven National Laboratory featured in CHEP conference

As I mentioned in the past, Brookhaven National Laboratory relies on for their on-demand grid computing infrastructure. I am pleased to say that Sun and Brookhaven National Laboratory have been asked to present their partnership at the International Conference on Computing in High Energy and Nuclear Physics. Taking place this week, the CHEP conference provides an international forum to exchange information on computing experience and needs for the community, and to review recent, ongoing, and future activities.

A detailed case study on powering Brookhaven National Laboratory is now available -- check it out.

Friday Aug 31, 2007

Create your own movie at

Did you know that you can create your own movie at

Yes, that's right! The popular frame rendering software, Blender, is currently available from Application Catalog. Blender offers full functionality for modeling, rendering, animation, post-production, creation and playback of interactive 3D content with the singular benefits of cross-platform operability and a download file size of less than 2.5MB. image

However, if you are not using Blender in a parallel computing environment, it takes literally hours to create the frames that will make up your movie. The version of Blender available from the Application Catalog can run simultaneously on multiple CPUs in the Sun Grid Compute Utility environment, so you get your frames rendered in orders of magnitude faster. And at $1/CPU-hr, it is very affordable not only for professional artists, but also to occasional hobbyists. Check it out to create 3D visualizations, stills as well as broadcast quality video at

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