12 Companies Adopt ISI/Argonne Lab Globus Toolkit as Standard Grid Technology Platform

November 12, 2001

The open source Globus Toolkit(tm)developed by USC's Information Sciences Institute (ISI) and Argonne National Laboratory today became the de-facto international standard in the burgeoning field of grid computing as 12 leading computer vendors and software.

Eight firms, including Compaq, Cray, SGI, Sun Microsystems, and Veridian from the United States, and Fujitsu, Hitachi, and NEC in Japan, will adopt the Globus Toolkit and develop an optimized form of it for their platforms, as their preferred path toward secure, distributed, multi-vendor, Grid computing.

Three other American companies, Entropia, IBM, and Microsoft, simultaneously announced deepening of commitments previously made. Finally, Platform Computing Inc on Nov. 7 announced that it will collaborate with Globus to provide a commercially supported version of the Globus Toolkit.

Spokesmen for the companies involved used words like "megatrend for information technology in this century," "potential to bring Grid computing to millions," "powerful &hellip tremendous advances in computer power and flexibility," to describe the potential of Grid computing and the Globus Toolkit&trade. (For complete statements by company representatives, with company press contact information, please refer to accompanying statement page).

"We're very excited to see this breadth of support for the Globus Toolkit," said Ian Foster, Globus Project lead at Argonne and the University of Chicago. "We see this as just the first step towards broad industrial adoption of Grid technologies - and better support for the numerous existing users in the research and education space."

"Today marks a giant step forward not just for Globus but for grid computing, which I believe is an essential tool for the science, engineering, and business needs of the future," said Carl Kesselman, director of the ISI Center for Grid Technologies.

Grid computing is a technology that uses the Internet as basic wiring to let people share computing, storage, data, programs, and other resources, just like the electric power grid allows people and energy companies to share generators of all kinds. The goal is to allow anyone with a computer to effectively integrate instruments, displays, and computational and information resources over a variety of computer platforms.

Argonne National Laboratory and ISI (which is part of the USC School of Engineering) have been working on the Globus approach to grids for six years. The Globus Toolkit&trade is an open-architecture, open-source set of protocols, services, and tools that address central problems in Grid computing - the secure, scalable, and coordinated sharing and use of resources in dynamic, multi-institutional "virtual organizations."

Explains Steven Tuecke, Globus Toolkit lead architect at Argonne, "the Globus Toolkit provides many of the basic protocols and services required to enable reliable and secure interoperation of Grid systems, whether within an international scientific collaboration or a company."

Grid concepts and the Globus Toolkit&trade have seen widespread adoption over the past two years in the research and education area, with dozens of major projects worldwide applying these concepts and technologies to challenging problems in scientific and technical computing.

The announcement today culminates a major series of recent endorsements for the Globus approach, including the following:

&hellip On September 24, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a $12.1 million "NSF Middleware Initiative" building on Globus. Said an NSF spokesman: "Much as the NSFnet network, established in 1985 laid the groundwork for the dramatic success of the Internet, we expect this NSF Middleware Initiative to lay foundations for the Grid, and spur adoption of the advanced services that will define the networks and distributed systems of tomorrow."

&hellip On August 27, NSF announced a $10 million grant to create a national virtual "collaboratory" to allow engineers to share equipment, data and research tools in order to create better techniques to safeguard structures against earthquakes. It will use Globus technology and the Globus partners will be co-investigators.

&hellip The U.S. Department of Energy this summer announced the investment of around $30 million to researchers including the Globus partners to conduct R&D aimed at creating national collaboratories in support of climate, high energy physics, fusion, and other science disciplines.

&hellip Globus will play a key role in the recently announced NSF Distributed Terascale Facility, which will put in place 13.6 Teraflops of computing, based on Itanium clusters connected by a 40 gigabit per second network.

&hellip The European Union and U.K. eScience program also recently announced a suite of Grid projects that build on Globus technologies.

&hellip The announcements of industrial support are part of the Globus Project&trade's new Industrial Grid Program, which facilitates a variety of industrial porting and support models for the Globus Toolkit. For example, IBM and Platform plan to distribute the Toolkit and provide commercial support.

Microsoft is funding Argonne National Laboratory to exploit advanced Windows features. Entropia and Veridian are incorporating support for Globus protocols into their enterprise software. Compaq, Cray, Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, Sun Microsystems, and SGI are porting the software and developing advanced interfaces to their own software.

All participants are committed to contributing modifications to the Globus Toolkit open source code base.

About the Globus Project: The Globus Project is a multi-institutional research and development effort creating fundamental technologies for computational grids. Grids are persistent environments that enable software applications to integrate instruments, displays, computational and information resources that are managed by diverse organizations in widespread locations. A primary product of the Globus Project is the open source Globus Toolkit, which is being used in numerous large Grid deployment and application projects in the United States, Europe, and around the world. The Globus Project is based at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute. For more information, visit the Globus Project web site at www.globus.org.