5 Australian Universities Pool Expertise, Form Grid

Five independent Australian universities have agreed to link their individual computer clusters together to form an enterprise grid that will enable them to perform experiments and applications they would not have been able to do otherwise, Computerworld Australia reported.

The grid will enable the consortium to study service development and management, service-oriented architecture, clusters and grid operating systems, resource protection, and enterprise security, representatives said.

But applications and research done via the grid will also be extended beyond the computer sciences realm to departments of biology and health.

The grid will comprise Deakin University's work in distributed operating systems and Web services, Monash University's grid middleware, RMIT University's expertise in distributed Web computing and Queensland's University of Technology's programming languages and operating systems.

Managed by Deakin University, the clusters will use Dell PowerEdge servers with Intel quad-core processors and will include 700 CPU cores and 50 terabytes of storage.

Deakin computing professor Andrzej Goscinski told CWA that there are not many clusters today running on quadcore processors. Expense is the main reason, but Goscinski said the consortium has been able to undertake the project at a price that is 10 times below what universities in the United States and Europe are paying.

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Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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