RealTime IT News

Grid Passes Real-World Test

Sun Microsystems software partner CDO2 has completed a trial deployment of its financial services software on the Sun Grid computing utility, becoming the first Sun software partner to confirm that the plan is a viable computing option.

CDO2 Director Gary Kendall said his company let its customers license computing power at $1 per CPU per hour and storage capacity for $1 per gigabyte per month.

This arrangement, run remotely via London from a data center in Scotland, helped CDO2 customers speed transaction times and cut costs.

Kendall said that his U.K. company, founded on the belief that all financial organizations should have access to the latest pricing models and enterprise technology despite their size, ran the company's CDOSheet pricing and risk management application on a 256 CPU Sun Grid using Sun's Solaris 10 operating system.

Using Sun's Jini technology for adding and subtracting compute resources, CDO2 customers were able to control the computing flow at the touch of a button, an approach that symbolizes the industry's push for on-demand computing that gives customers greater control over the computing resources they need.

Kendall said his company ran a financial simulation of a CDO portfolio which would normally require days to run on a single PC. The simulation was completed in less than an hour using the Sun utility.

This helped U.K.-based CDO2 reach more customers for whom such calculations were previously too expensive or time consuming.

"For us to use Sun Grid is really an alternative to having our customers run a grid in-house, but for customers like small hedge funds who only have a network administrator for technology support, they really need to be able to outsource that type of technology," Kendall said.

"Until recently, only large banks could take advantage of advanced pricing models and enterprise technology," he said. "Now, with Sun Grid's ability to optimize for exactly the amount of computing resources each customer needs on a utility basis, we've eliminated these barriers."

This is a milestone for Sun. CDO2 is the first customer to publicly embrace Sun's Grid utility computing option, proving the systems vendor delivered on its promise to customers.

"This is the first major ISV that we're working with that's doing some very compelling things with Sun Grid," said Sun spokesman Brett Smith.

More importantly, while it seemed that only large companies with a wealth of capital resources would be able to use grid software because of the cost incurred, CDO2's smaller customers were able to use the grid and save money and time.

This proves that smaller businesses can enjoy the fruits of grid technology, something analysts and other industry watchers were not sold on.

To lure more customers, Sun said that it and CDO2 are developing a demo center in Sun's UK-based customer briefing center in Guillemont Park. There potential customers can test CDO2's CDOSheet credit application on the Sun Grid using their own data.