The idea behind the CEES is to coordinate the needs of large corporations, new technology and expertise from academia, center director Jerry Harris said. CEES also aims to tackle technology issues that plague the energy industry. For example, researchers will use the center to study solutions to such major Earth science problems as global warming, oil and gas exploration, seismic activity, and water and air hazards."Our mission is to enhance the capacity for large-scale computational research for Earth and environmental science," said Harris, who also is professor of geophysics in the Stanford School of Earth Sciences."A driving force for this is the fact that, here at Stanford, we have some of the worlds best scientists, and across the street in Silicon Valley are some of the worlds best computer designers and builders." McNealy said that Sun is quite comfortable with the idea of sharing research for the common good. "You know, we were Red Hat way back in the 80s, before there was a Red Hat," he said. "Im going to pull an Al Gore here and go out on a limb to say that Sun pretty much invented community development in software. To read more about Suns effort to create an online, open-source educational resource library, click here. "Linus [Torvalds, founder of Linux] was still in diapers when we open-sourced TCP/IPone of the building blocks of the Internetin 1982 and put it into our first computer." Having worked with the energy sector for more than 20 years, Sun is helping bridge the gap between academia and industry by supporting the CEES, said Kim Jones, vice president of global education and research at Sun. "This provides a unique and innovative architecture for functional analysis of very complex applications used in Earth and environmental science," she said. Sun also is a founding member of what the university hopes will be a larger consortium that will oversee the research center. Other current board members are Chevron and British Petroleum. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.