ISI Co-Pioneered Software Moves From Toolkit to Consortium, from Science to Business

January 25, 2005

The open source grid software package Carl Kesselman of the USC Information Sciences Institute co- developed with colleagues in the Globus Alliance has now received formal endorsement by the world's leading IT companies.

Kesselman and longtime collaborators Steve Tueke and Ian Foster of the Argonne National Laboratory created the Globus Toolkit, which has become the de facto standard for grid computing since its introduction in 1996.

They are now observing the creation of the Globus Consortium, which includes IBM, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems.

The consortium, according to The New York Times, "will cooperatively develop software tools more suited for business uses of grid computing, and educate companies about the technology and its potential."

Scientific users the world over are already using Globus software to allow seamless sharing of computational resources - machines, data, sensors and more - in scientific enterprises like NEESGrid, set up to further computationally intensive research and modeling in earthquake safety.

Climatologists, molecular biologists and high-energy physicists are also confirmed users of the software, which Kesselman and his colleagues began creating nearly a decade ago.

Business users have also started using Globus to for advanced applications. For example, SAP has used Globus to demonstrate dynamic deployment and integration of new servers into applications. The Globus consortium is expected to accelerate the adoption of Globus technology in commercial applications.

To further advance the adoption of Globus in commercial applications, the Globus trio created Univa Corp, a company focused on providing commercial support for the open source toolkit and business oriented solutions based on the Globus toolkit.  Tueke is Univa president/ CEO and and Kesselman is chief scientist

"The problem is that open source Globus software is still largely unpackaged and unsupported for enterprise use. That's where Univa comes in," says a statement on the company's web site.

"Grid computing has only begun to realize its potential in business," said Kesselman. "We think that such applications as  on-demand deployment, enterprise based resource management and custom and general purpose Grid based solutions from independent software vendors will be in place in he next three to four years."

Kesselman, an ISI fellow, is director of the ISI Center for Grid Technology and Research Associate Professor in the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering department of computer science.

Globus work and the scientists have won numerous honors, both academic and from IT publications, including 2003 Finalist, World Technology Award for Information Technology Software; 2003 InfoWorld Top 10 Innovators; 2003 The Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer; 2002 MIT Technology Review Ten Technologies that will Change the World; the 2002 British Computing Society Lady Ada Lovelace Medal; 2002 R&D Magazine R&D 100 Award; and 2002 R&D Magazine's Most Promising New Technology Award (best of the R&D 100.)