IBM, DoE build computing grid

An Energy Department laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., is joining with IBM Corp. to develop a high-performance computing grid for research in global climate change and other areas that use large data sets.

The Science Grid will link the IBM SP supercomputer at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center in a wide area network with other Energy labs and huge storage capacity, said Peter Ungaro, IBM's vice president of high-performance computing.

NERSC's 3,328-processor system, named Seaborg, is the world's third-fastest computer and the fastest that is unclassified. The partnership benefits both the Energy Department and the company, NERSC director Horst Simon said.

By leveraging the investment IBM already has made in grid infrastructure, the Energy Department can have the initial version of the Science Grid up and running by the end of this year. IBM, which has commercial plans for grid computing, will gain experience with open-source grid middleware from a group called the Globus Project, based at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

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