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Sun software exec leaves for grid group

Wolfgang Gentzsch, who led Sun Microsystems' work on the grid idea for supercomputing, joins a nonprofit group devoted to grid and other technology work in North Carolina.

Wolfgang Gentzsch, who led Sun Microsystems' work on the grid idea for supercomputing, has joined a nonprofit group devoted to grid and other technology work in North Carolina.

Gentzsch has become managing director of MCNC's Grid Computing and Networking Services group, the organization said Monday.

Gentzsch is the latest executive to leave server maker Sun during a time of persistent financial troubles and massive change for the company. In April, Sun reported its 12th consecutive quarter of dwindling revenue, 3,300 new layoffs, a new chief operating officer and a broad partnership with archenemy Microsoft.

Other executives who have recently left Sun include services chief Pat Sueltz, now at Salesforce.com, and sales chief Masood Jabbar, now at Verari Systems.

Grid computing in effect creates a single machine out of numerous smaller computers and storage systems--often different types in different locations--and is slowly spreading from the academic realm into business computing. The technology is one of the underpinnings expected to be used for the utility computing idea of spreading computing jobs across a flexible collection of equipment.

Gentzsch joined the server maker when Sun acquired his company, Gridware, in 1999.

MCNC formerly stood for Microelectronics Center of North Carolina, said spokesman Scott Yates, but the group has expanded beyond that into other areas of research and development including biotechnology, displays and high-speed networking.