Harvard Uses IBM Technology to Create Crimson Grid for Collaborative Research

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CAMBRIDGE, MA & SOMERS, NY - 17 Dec 2003: Harvard University and IBM today announced that they are working together to establish a university-wide computing grid. The 'Crimson Grid' will be used by students and faculty for research, data sharing and collaboration in such areas as life sciences, engineering and applied sciences.

Harvard and IBM also will collaborate to develop and pre-test grid tools and protocols, based on open standards, designed to help other academic institutions take advantage of grid computing, which taps data and computing resources from different computing systems and makes them available when and where they are needed.

"A grid could potentially provide the tools to solve any type problem, from a complex literature search to mining the genome," said Dr. Jayanta Sircar, CIO and IT Director of Harvard's Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences (DEAS) and Principal Investigator for the project. "Harvard's goal is to help create an 'out-of-the-box' implementation of grid computing that will enable students throughout the region to leverage commonly shared resources for collaborative research and knowledge sharing."

Through an IBM Shared University Research (SUR) award, Harvard will receive powerful IBM eServer* pSeries* and BladeCenter* servers to power the Crimson Grid. In addition, the DEAS IT group, with help from computer scientists at IBM's Cambridge Laboratory, will implement and build the core development environment for the grid -- the Grid Reference System Implementation. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Harvard University Information Systems will supply a final key component, the network backbone service, to bring the grid to life.

"Harvard and IBM share a vision of using grid technology to significantly broaden the boundaries of academic research, especially in the area of life sciences," said Bruce Harreld, IBM Senior Vice President, Strategy. "This grid project can open doors to new research and help both organizations to draw on complementary strengths, including IBM's expertise in grid computing, computational biology and advanced IT solutions."

Commenting on the IBM SUR award, Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Harvard's Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Dean of Physical Sciences, said: "We are pleased and honored to be working with IBM on developing the Crimson Grid. This award will provide an excellent opportunity for industry and academia to collaborate. Such an effort blends well with the interdisciplinary and team environment of the Division itself."

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