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United Devices Gooses Grids

United Devices, a grid software startup, is focusing its research on future data center technology and will launch new products later this year, officials said today.

The startup, which also runs the public life sciences grid at, today announced it has received U.S. patent 6,654,783, "Network site content indexing method and associated system," covering grid scaleability.

The way most of the search engines today work, especially sites like Google, is they throw a lot of machines at creating an index, says Ed Hubbard, United Device's president and founder. But he says there are ways to improve the performance of grids, without throwing more machines at them.

The technology described in the new patent helps to accomplish that network intelligence by optimizing server utilization. Combine a large amount of servers into a grid, and "we can get you to 100 percent [utilization] on any available nodes that are left," Hubbard claims. That's without even needing traditional virtualization software such as EMC Corp.'s (NYSE: EMC) VMware, he adds.

Hubbard, a former Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) chief technology officer who also worked on architecture at Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), says a good problem for his solution is in optimizing computer resources after you've completed a data center consolidation project. No matter how well such as project goes, he asserts, processor utilization is still an elusive problem to solve.

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