Sun Microsystems unveiled the latest version of its Grid computing
software on Thursday, including a new policy management tool that Sun
says gives enterprises unprecedented ability to allocate computing
Sun Grid Engine Enterprise Edition 5.3 is the commercial version of the
free Sun Grid Engine software that has been available since September
2000. The new software will allow the evolution of Grids from
single-project “cluster Grids” to “campus Grids” that pool the computing
resources of several clusters scattered throughout an enterprise, said
Peter Jeffcock, group marketing manager for Sun’s Client and Technical
Market Products Group.
But to get different clusters to agree to work together and share
resources, Sun found it necessary to provide a policy module to ensure
that resources are shared and that projects receive the resources they
need in accordance with company priorities. The policy module allows
companies to align resources with “just a two minute exercise, with no
need to take anything down,” Jeffcock said. “No one else can do that
More On Sun And Grid
Grid Engine Enterprise allows companies to pool resources while
maintaining quality and power for each project. The policy module lets
firms establish, monitor and maintain policies, and align resources with
business goals. As projects become more important to a company’s
business goals, they can be allocated greater resources, a process
Jeffcock said is “hard work” without the Sun policy tool.
Synopsis, for example, uses Grid Engine Enterprise to shift resources
between day and nighttime use, Jeffcock said. Motorola Semiconductor
uses the software to allocate additional CPUs to individual projects as
deadlines approach. Both companies purchased Grid Engine Enterprise as
part of Sun’s Gridware product.
Grid Engine Growth
Sun Grid Engine currently powers more than 5,000 Grids, Jeffcock said,
and 70 more are deployed each week, a growth rate 20% faster than just
seven months ago. “No one else comes close” to that number of installed
Grids, he said. More than half of those Grids are commercial, and the
average Grid size is increasing, he said.
Life sciences, Electronic Design Automation (EDA), and Mechanical
Computer-Aided Engineering (MCAE) are among the biggest adopters,
Jeffcock said. Half the Grids are Solaris, 25% are Linux, and 25%
combine both, and each user has an average of two CPUs.
Sun Grid Engine Enterprise Edition costs $20,000 for 0-50 CPUs; $30,000
for 51-100 CPUs; $50,000 for 101-250 CPUs, and $80,000 for 251-2000
“Beyond that, give us a call,” Jeffcock said.
The freeware version of Grid Engine will remain free. More than 500,000 lines of code are open source, and the software has been ported to many operating systems, including Solaris, Linux, IRIX, Tru64, AIX and HP/ux. For more information, visit www.sun.com/grid.