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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Wednesday Sep 19, 2007

SPICE up at

SPICE does not need any introduction in the Electronic Design Automation industry. In over 30 years of its life, SPICE has become the de-facto standard for circuit simulation.

ngspice is a mixed-level/mixed-signal circuit simulator. Its code is based on three open source software packages: Spice3f5, Cider1b1 and Xspice. Ngspice is part of gEDA project, a full GPL'd suite of Electronic Design Automation tools.
Circuit Simulation using

Good news -- ng-spice is now available in the Application Catalog. The design automation engineers can run circuit simulation simultaneously on multiple CPUs in the Sun Grid Compute Utility environment, and the simulation gets done much faster. Check out this page on how to run ngspice in

Wednesday Jul 25, 2007 powers innovative drug discovery application

In today's competitive pharmaceutical marketplace, making a scientific breakthrough and getting to market first is vital to maximize revenue potential. Identifying quality lead compounds is an important but time-consuming task along the path of drug discovery. Constraints on compute power can often impede progress. The innovative Electronic High Throughput Screening (eHiTS) software from SimBioSys running on the powerful Sun Grid Compute Utility (offered by Sun's gives organizations a new way to accomplish fast, accurate docking of ligands to target receptors by using a secure, affordable, and scalable on-demand compute utility resource.

eHiTS offers new approaches to accurately score ligand and receptor interactions as well as to account for all conformation and protonation changes that occur during the binding process in the molecular docking and screening steps of drug discovery. The application fills the drug discovery pipeline faster by automating searches of compound libraries, identifying lead candidates rapidly, and reducing time to solve molecular docking challenges with the scalable power of its innovative algorithms running on Sun Grid Compute Utility.

Get the details about the eHiTS application offered via here.

Thursday Jul 19, 2007

Sun Grid Compute Utility creates innovative market offering for data solutions provider

New Jersey-based Infosolve Technologies gives customers the ability to rapidly integrate, cleanse and standardize their enterprise data. Since its inception in 2003, the company has acquired customers of all kinds and sizes -- from Fortune 50 global giants to non-profit organizations -- across a wide range of industries.

To accommodate the increase in customers, Infosolve looked to scale its internal IT infrastructure but the costs of procuring, maintaining, managing and continuously expanding new server clusters were prohibitive. In weighing up its options, Infosolve decided on Sun Grid Compute Utility, accessed through Sun’s pay-for-use service. This has resulted in a saving of $150,000 per year/per server node versus a conventional hosting service in addition to avoiding expenditures in the region of $250,000 - $300,000 per year to build and maintain an in-house server cluster, in addition to gaining increased flexibility to meet clients varying needs.

Subbu Manchiraju, VP of Infosolve Technologies, recently discussed the company's story in more detail, highlighting the cost savings, ease of scalability and increased flexibility resulting from the Sun Grid Compute Utility and how these will help to ensure the continued success of Infosolve.

Here is another one...

Thursday Jun 21, 2007

NetBeans plug-in for Sun Grid application development

During JavaOne last month, we announced the Sun Grid Compute Utility Module for the Netbeans IDE. This new plug-in lets the developers do a number of cool things:

- Use the new Sun Grid Application project type to develop a java application directly in Netbeans. This is a Java application project configured for one click packaging, deployment, and execution on the Sun Grid Compute Utility.

- For all project types (Java and otherwise), you can manage resources, jobs, and "runs" on Sun Grid Compute Utility - all without leaving Netbeans!

The new plugin also includes wizards to greatly simplify many of the typical uses of Sun Grid Compute Utility:

-- "Create Sun Grid Resource" wizard:
Lets you select multiple files on your desktop, create a ZIP file and then upload  as a resource to Sun Grid, all in a single step.

-- "Download Sun Grid Output" wizard: Download your job output, unpack it, view it - or - open it using an application of your choosing.

Check out this really cool demonstration of the plug-in in action during James' keynote in Javaone...

Wednesday Jun 13, 2007

A conversation on the Sun Grid Compute Utility offering available from

Sun recently announced international expansion of the Sun Grid Compute Utility available from We sat down with Rohit Valia of the team to discuss this important pay-per-use utility offering from Sun.

On The Record (OTR): How does Sun define Grid computing?
Rohit Valia (RV): Grid computing provides a horizontally scaled infrastructure that matches pools of resources against applications requesting access to those resources in an automated manner. It allows these applications to take advantage of multiple compute resources to perform the tasks faster while at the same time increasing the accuracy and quality of the results.

OTR: How long did it take Sun to get the Grid to market? What's the core technology at the heart of the network?
RV: Building a public Grid compute facility required bringing together a lot of moving parts. These parts ranged from creating data center operations to building a security architecture all the way to scaling to a multi-tenet model to ensure we meet with all regulations related to the business. The team did an incredible job launching the service in about a year. The core technology manages the complexity of putting together a system with so many moving parts to allow self service by users and have the experience be completely automated.

OTR: What innovative things are customers doing with the Sun Grid?
RV: Customers are leveraging the infrastructure for a variety of tasks ranging from uses in Life Sciences in drug discovery research to generating fractals for recreational art. Since the launch of the Sun Grid Developer Kit, users are now able to develop applications in the NetBeans IDE, and send the application and data for processing to the Grid from within the Development IDE.

OTR: How is the application catalog being used by customers?
RV: The Sun Grid Application Catalog provides a simple model for end users to leverage pre-configured, pre-tested applications. Users can upload their data and use the published applications to run against their data. We have published a couple of dozen applications and are constantly working with open source communities and partners to add more. Applications are available in many different categories including Life Sciences, Manufacturing and Computational Mathematics. There are even applications that can do computer animations and electronic design verification, which are all compute intensive tasks.

OTR: Do I need to use Solaris on the Grid? Or can I use other operating systems?
RV: As an application catalog, all the users need to bring is data. In that context it is not relevant which OS is serving the application. However, the infrastructure is powered by the industry leading Solaris 10 operating system and developers of applications need to run compatible binaries.

OTR: What kind of ROI can a Grid computing user expect to see?
RV: The ROI depends on the value of time to market for them and the level of resources available. For example, a job that runs for a 1,000 minutes on 100 nodes is billed at only $17. The job would be completed in only 10 minutes assuming it is a perfectly parallel task. Compare that to running the same job on a single machine, and it would run for approximately 17 hours. The main ROI is the value of getting back the results in 10 minutes versus about 17 hours.

OTR: What's next in the world of HPC?
RV: This question is best answered by looking at which industry or task is going to adopt HPC next. To show you how far-reaching the technology is, just the other day we were talking to a company that makes potato chips using simulations to see how a potato chip would fly through the oven to reduce breakage while baking them. The sky really is the limit where HPC is applicable.

OTR: What are Sun's future plans for the Grid?
RV: Expansion. More specifically, it's the expansion of both capabilities and geographies served. The goal is to enable all developers to be able to leverage the infrastructure for all reasons for which they use their current infrastructure. The Grid service would ease their pain so they don't have to deal with the issues related to infrastructure management.

Oracle Global Communications

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