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Grid Startup Hits the Source

Startup Univa Corp. is taking a leaf from commercial Linux vendor Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT) and applying it to the grid computing market.

The Elmhurst, Ill., vendor revealed its strategy at this weeks Supercomm show in Chicago, where open-source was touted as a key enabler for grid computing. With standards to support grid still being ratified, industry group GlobusAlliance has developed an open-source middleware toolkit for building grid systems and applications (see Keynote: Grids to Grow and Vendors Form Globus Consortium).

Adapting open-source to specific applications is easier said than done, and not all users possess the technical expertise to fully exploit the technology (see Opening Up the Data Center and Red Hat Goes for Government). This is where Univa comes in.

Rich Miller, the company’s chief operating officer, says Univa is planning to launch its first products later this year. These will be software tools for installing, managing and configuring the Globus middleware, surrounded by a “cocoon of services and professional support,” he adds.

Univa will be selling its products on a subscription basis and will also offer specialized “add-ons.” Miller says these could include the ability to link up with clustered file systems. The exec was unwilling to divulge any product specifics, although he did confirm that customers are currently testing the technology.

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