Open-Source Project Gets Boost From Sun

Sun Microsystems is giving its grid portal technology to the open-source community.

Sun Microsystems Inc. is giving its grid portal technology to the open-source community.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company has been beta testing its Grid Engine Portal portlet technology, which integrates Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) Grid Engine software with Sun ONE Server Portal. The integration enables users to securely access their enterprise or resource grid remotely via a Web browser, rather than having to be tied directly into the grid system, said John Tollefsrud, grid marketing manager for Sun.

"It adds easy access to the computer grid," Tollefsrud said. "The key is mobility. You can do that at your desktop or from the beach."

Sun this week released the technologys integration code to the open-source Grid Engine Project, which will enable users to access grids powered by the companys Grid Engine software. According to Sun, there are about 6,500 grids deployed on its Java-based software.

With Suns Grid Engine Portal portlet and Sun ONE Portal Server, users can remotely execute applications to Sun-powered grids, monitor jobs on the grid, upload input files to the portal with a single click and download output files to local systems.

The Ohio Supercomputer Center is using Suns Grid Engine Portal portlet to give students and scientists browser-based access to their programs and jobs on the grid without having to learn the complexities of Unix or its operating system commands. Steven I. Gordon, deputy director of the center, in Columbus, Ohio, said having to learn the complexities of the operating system was a barrier to using high-performance computing resources.

"The portal technology allows us to create a simple, Web-based front end to the software that authenticates the user and allows them to move their datasets, submit their jobs and view their outputs without knowing anything about the system on which it runs," Gordon said. "This capability will release scientists from having to know the intricacies of the computer systems so they can concentrate on their real work."

It also will increase opportunities for students to use the computing power for their research, he said.