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Germany to plug in national grid

The German government launches the Deutschland Grid, or D-Grid, a multiyear effort with IBM to use grid computing to tackle scientific research.

The German government on Wednesday is expected to launch a multiyear effort with IBM to use grid computing for advanced research.

Called the Deutschland Grid, or D-Grid, the initiative involves linking several machines together to tackle complex computing tasks for scientific research.

The German minister of science, Edelgard Bulmahn, is expected to announce the D-Grid plan in Berlin at a meeting of the Global Grid Forum, a grid computing standards body, according to IBM.

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The German government's project involves universities, research institutes and commercial companies. It is one of several grid-related initiatives that involve combining the computing capacity of servers in universities.

Companies such as IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard and Oracle are investing in grid software and standards to make grid computing commercially viable and to increase sales of server hardware, related software and consulting services.

IBM said that it will be contributing to the D-Grid project with technical expertise and personnel. The project does not involve the sale of IBM hardware, according to a company representative.

D-Grid will use software from the Global Grid Forum and closely follow the standards put out by the group, according to the German government. The Global Grid Forum's Globus toolkit, which is open-source software, is used to coordinate the processing power of a disparate network of computers and parcel out tasks across several machines.

The first phase of the D-Grid project will be the construction of the grid, including the development of appropriate software. Pilot projects to run grid applications will run until 2008. After 2008, during the second phase, the grid will be used to run science-related research jobs, such as climate and bio-medical research, according to the government.