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Sun updates "grid" computing software

The company is releasing another version of its Grid Engine software to make the program work better on larger networks of computers.

Sun Microsystems is updating its Grid Engine software, which lets customers run calculations using otherwise untapped processing power, to make the program work better on larger networks of computers.

"Grid" computing, used mostly in academia thus far, but headed for the commercial world as well, lets demanding calculations such as climate simulations and genetics research run on groups of computers.

IBM, Sun and others are backing an effort by the Globus Project to standardize how processing and storage resources of grids are used.

Sun released a beta version 5.3 of its Grid Engine software, which comes with policies that make it easier to set up which tasks may run on which computers, the company said.

It released the 500,000 lines of source code for the Grid Engine software in July under its Sun Industry Standards Source License, which lets programmers and companies change the software and release changes publicly, or not, as they see fit.

Sun's version of the software is based on the open-source version but includes more tuning, integration with other Sun software and support from the company.