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Grid Startup Grabs Funding

Univa Corp. today clinched $8 million in Series A funding in a move that could add momentum to open-source grid computing.

The startup plans to launch subscription-based software tools for installing, managing, and configuring Globus middleware, which will be offered with services and professional support by Univa (see Grid Startup Hits the Source).

The Globus Alliance is an industry group that has developed an open-source middleware toolkit for building grid systems and applications (see Vendors Form Globus Consortium). So far, Globus is the only available solution for open-source grid software, as standards have yet to be written, and commercial open-source vendors such as Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) are focused on Linux.

Univa claims its adaptation of open-source to specific applications fully exploits the technology in ways not done by rivals such as IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
and Platform Computing (see Opening Up the Data Center and Red Hat Goes for Government). Both competitors already have product offerings built around the Globus toolkit.

To release its first products by year's end, the Elmhurst, Ill.-based supplier will rely heavily on partnerships, according to Steve Tuecke, the companys founder and CEO. Univa is looking for channel partners and systems integrators to offer the bulk of professional support that goes with its packaged middleware, enabling the startup to focus mainly on its own technology.

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