The program is designed to further encourage the use of Grid Computing as a principal technology solution supporting key research projects within Australia. Grid Computing is a global movement to pool networked computing resources and make them available to users seamlessly in an analogous manner to electricity grids. The Sun and ALW sponsored program received interest from education and research institutions Australia wide.
Monash University will receive a grant from Sun Microsystems for high performance computing hardware valued at more than $150,000.
The grant is based upon the provision of a Grid Rack system based on ten high performance dual processor Sun Fire V20z AMD Opteron servers.
Professor Edwina Cornish, deputy vice chancellor (research) at Monash University said, 'The grant will be a very valuable addition to Monash's already significant investment in eResearch, by providing high-performance computing equipment.'
The projects that will benefit from the grant involve simulating entire networks, comprising millions of tiny devices, within the memory of a computer. These initiatives are led by Dr Asad Khan of the Faculty of Information Technology.
The Sun Fire system will also be used by Professor David Abramson's research group at Monash, for further development of the Nimrod/Gtoolset that is used extensively to support Grid computing activities amongst researchers, both locally and internationally.
Professor Ron Weber, Dean of the Faculty of Information Technology, said, 'The grant could open opportunities for developing new technologies that addressed critical areas such as aged-care and water resource conservation. For example, embedded networks of cubic millimetre-sized computers and limited radio-frequency devices, such as single-chip motes or reprogrammable RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identifications), could make possible an irrigation system that released water according to plant needs and soil moisture conditions.'
Monash University has decided to immediately upgrade the grid to a full 64 CPU configuration. 'We have done this to provide ample capacity to enable leading edge research into grid services and to support cross disciplinary research,' said Alan McMeekin, Executive Director of Information Technology Services at Monash University.
Sun was a founding member of the Enterprise Grid Alliance (EGA), a consortium created to improve grid computing tools and standards and accelerate the deployment of enterprise grid computing. ALW is partnering with Sun to deploy grid computing in the education sector.