Platform, United Devices, Fujitsu Unveil Grid Initiatives

Platform Computing and SciTegic have announced Platform Life Sciences
Suite, a collaboration the companies say is “the industry’s first
fully-automated in silico discovery solution.”

Platform is combining its workload management software, Platform LSF and
Platform JobScheduler, with SciTegic’s Pipeline Pilot, a high-throughput
data analysis and mining system for drug discovery informatics, to
deliver “a comprehensive data pipelining solution that will accelerate
time to discovery,” the companies said.

“Drug discovery data is being grossly underutilized, due to the
combination of increasing volumes and types of data, the dependence upon
computational methods, and the inflexibility of legacy systems,” Yury
Rozenman, Platform’s director of life sciences business development,
said in a statement. “This solution will accelerate life science
research and provide our global customers with a new approach to address
this emerging crisis in informatics. SciTegic is pioneering the data
pipelining approach, and by integrating with our workload management
capabilities, we can ensure that the speed and quality of data analysis
is not restricted by the IT system.”

By maintaining dependencies among individual execution steps within a
pipeline, the companies said the Life Sciences Suite “ensures the
automatic execution of each job, while delivering more predictable and
reliable results, from R&D to regulatory approval.” The solution
provides users with visible improvements in the utilization of
distributed compute resources, overall performance and scalability, the
companies said, and it also provides reusable pipeline protocols,
ensuring that intellectual property, processes, and procedures can be
easily documented and repeated.

“By processing diverse collections of data collectively in real-time,
scientists are not constrained by what has been pre-calculated and
stored in a single monolithic database,” said J.R. Tozer, SciTegic’s
vice president for marketing.

Pipeline Pilot allows disparate data sets to be merged, analyzed, or
manipulated and provides support for third party tools like Oracle,
ISIS/Host, ISIS/Base, RS3, and Spotfire DecisionSite. Platform Life
Sciences Suite integrates with all major Unix and Linux based platforms,
including Compaq, HP, IBM, Sun, SGI and Linux.

United Devices, NTT Collaborate On Cell Computing

United Devices and NTT DATA Corp. are cooperating on a large-scale
research and development distributed computing project.

NTT DATA is preparing to launch a large-scale trial of cell computing
during the first half of the current fiscal year, with participation by
a million PCs in Japan with broadband connections, to be followed by
commercial service, NTT said.

United Devices has already been involved in a number of large-scale
projects using distributed computing technology. Based on the company’s
existing technology, the joint project will develop a cell computing
system geared to broadband users in Japan. The companies will also
jointly evaluate the trial results.

Cell computing is a service that NTT DATA said it plans to offer on a
commercial basis in the future. The service takes advantage of the
unused CPU capacity in PCs in homes and offices that are connected to a
broadband network. Using technology capable of harnessing that unused
CPU capacity and using it as a virtual supercomputer, the service will
provide customers with low-cost CPU power for use in such fields as
biotechnology, physics, design, financial engineering, and computer
graphics rendering. The PC users who provide their surplus capacity will
receive return benefits from this network service. The research for the
project is being carried out with the cooperation also of Intel K.K.,
NTT East Corporation, and SGI Japan.

The companies hope for participation of about one million PCs in Japan
with dedicated connections to the Internet, in homes, businesses and
organizations, in order to realize massive computing power. That power
will be put to use running applications for which there is likely to be
popular support, in research fields such as biotechnology, space, and
astronomy, NTT said. The trial is expected to last approximately six
months starting in the first half of fiscal 2002. NTT said the project
is also a contribution to the concept of nationwide broadband service as
envisioned in the government’s e-Japan Priority Policy Program.

Fujitsu Announces Grid Solution For Sciences

Fujitsu plans to launch in June a new solution for scientific
applications called the Grid Solution for the Sciences, which combines
the construction of a Grid system environment, education, and
operational support.

The solution would assist customers with Grid construction based
primarily on Fujitsu’s PRIMEPOWER high-performance Unix server (running
Solaris), PRIMERGY Intel architecture server (running Linux) and VPP
Series supercomputers (running UXP/V).

Working with its research arm, Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., Fujitsu said
it has been a pioneer in Grid development. Fujitsu supplied Grid
middleware to the IT-based Laboratory (ITBL) project, which is part of
the e-Japan initiative, and, as part of the SuperSINET project, ported
the Globus Toolkit Grid middleware to its VPP Series supercomputers
installed at the Universities of Kyushu, Kyoto, and Nagoya. In addition,
Fujitsu is conducting research on Globus Toolkit portability and other
Grid-related technologies in conjunction with the National Institute of
Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), an independent,
public sector institution.

Fujitsu is the only Japanese corporate sponsor of the Global Grid Forum,
and is participating in the UNICORE project, which is part of EUROGRID,
a European Grid research project.

Fujitsu said Grid Solution for the Sciences encompasses a wide range of
support services, from software development for the Grid platform to
Grid middleware and implementation of applications, and full lifecycle,
from design through operation, to help customers construct Grid systems
utilizing its high-performance PRIMEPOWER, PRIMERGY and VPP hardware
platforms.

DataDirect Networks Pushes Storage For Grids

DataDirect Networks used the recent Tenth NASA Goddard Conference on
Mass Storage Systems and Technologies and the Nineteenth IEEE Symposium
on Mass Storage Systems at the University of Maryland to showcase its
Silicon Storage Appliances for high performance storage area network
infrastructures in a modular approach to support terascale and
distributed computational grids.

“As distributed grids become more and more prevalent, there are certain
foundational requirements for scalability, reliability, performance and
manageability,” the company said. “DataDirect’s storage network
appliance technology was designed specifically to enable these larger,
extended infrastructures.”

“Terascale systems and distributed Grids promise to enable scientific
discovery by giving scientists a new, collaborative way to work, and
through these systems, teraflops of data that are being collected can be
analyzed in ways to allow new insights and knowledge,” Robert Woolery,
DataDirect’s vice president of corporate development, said in a
statement.

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