Press Archive

San Diego Supercomputer Center and Entropia Report Early Success in their Partnership to Harness Desktop PC Grids

Affords Breakthrough Molecular Databases Research

Published 08/20/2002

SAN DIEGO - August 20, 2002 - The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), a world leader in developing and applying computing technology to advance science, and Entropia, Inc., the leading provider of PC grid computing solutions, announced today early success with their partnership to provide industry-leading distributed computing capabilities to computational science and engineering projects at SDSC. With its successful deployment of Entropia's DCGrid(TM), a powerful and cost-effective PC grid computing platform that provides high-performance computing capabilities by aggregating the unused processing cycles of existing Windows-based PCs, SDSC has begun taking advantage of a previously untapped computational power, enabling new biological and molecular research that was previously impossible.

"Grids are about using the right tool for the right job, and desktop PC grids have been very effective for many kinds of problems," said Fran Berman, director of SDSC and the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI). "Our partnership with Entropia allows us to complement our work in TeraGrid and NPACI with a strong peer-to-peer component. Entropia's commitment to the Open Grid Services Architecture ensures that PC grids can be integrated with other high-performance computing resources to provide our users a comprehensive set of resources for their problems."

SDSC's first use of DCGrid applied the widely utilized GAMESS (General Atomic Electronic Structure Systems) software to accurately compute molecular structure and properties with the goal of populating databases for a wide variety of purposes, including analysis of bioterrorism agents such as anthrax and smallpox. No source code changes to GAMESS were needed for deployment on DCGrid.

DCGrid represents a unique type of computing resource for SDSC. With DCGrid, SDSC researchers were able to automate a large quantity of strategic, high-throughput calculations, which allowed them to use the more accurate GAMESS code on a wider range of molecular systems than would have been possible on other platforms. Explains Kim Baldridge, director of Integrative Computational Sciences at SDSC, "With DCGrid we are able to exploit the strengths and inherent resources of PC grids to open new horizons while still capitalizing on our existing high-end resources."

DCGrid transparently provides privacy and data integrity through Entropia's patent-pending tamper-prevention technology. This technology protects the PC from deliberately or inadvertently misbehaving applications and, while enforcing the unobtrusiveness of the application, it protects the application from deliberate or inadvertent actions by the PC user.

"Unobtrusiveness, security, and ease of use were important considerations in our evaluation," explained Tom Guptill, SDSC's information technology systems manager, who supervised the Entropia deployment. "DCGrid's deployment went very smoothly. I had one person who didn't want the software to be deployed on his machine because he was sure it would interfere with his work. When I told him it had already been on his machine for a week his response was 'Really? I guess it's okay then.'"

"Leading research centers such as SDSC are well known for their technically sophisticated and demanding users. DCGrid was quickly deployed and has been running unobtrusively on hundreds of desktops for several months, demonstrating its value in SDSC's complex IT environment," said Bill Philbin, senior vice president of product development of Entropia. "We look forward to continued successes with not only SDSC, but with all our partners as together we expand grid use to a wide range of molecular biology and bioinformatics applications such as Blastall, hmmpfam and hmmsearch, GOLD and DOCK."

About SDSC The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) is an organized research unit of UCSD and the leading-edge site of the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI). SDSC's mission is to develop and use technology to advance science, and SDSC provides leadership both nationally and internationally in computing, data management, biosciences, and other areas. As a national laboratory for computational science and engineering, SDSC is funded by the National Science Foundation through NPACI and other federal agencies, the State and University of California, and private organizations. For more information, see www.sdsc.edu.

About Entropia Entropia, Inc. is the leader in PC grid computing. Entropia's grid computing solutions harness and manage the untapped processing power of desktop PCs within an enterprise network to process computationally intensive jobs for business and scientific applications. Entropia's solutions benefit enterprises that deploy compute-intensive applications such as those widely used in pharmaceutical, material sciences, chemical and financial services industries. By unleashing the untapped power of existing PCs, Entropia's solutions accelerate innovation and dramatically increase the return on investment for an enterprise's computing and network infrastructure.

Entropia's DCGrid product line, with its easily scalable architecture and open technology platform, delivers computing capabilities that meet or exceed the power of high performance compute clusters - at a fraction of the cost. Existing proprietary and third party applications can be deployed on the DCGrid platform quickly and easily using DCGrid's rapid integration features which allow enterprises to achieve business objectives faster, with higher throughput, increased precision and more meaningful results in less time than previously possible. Ultimately DCGrid solutions enable new and more difficult problems to be solved - problems enterprises previously simply didn't have the computing power to attack.

Founded in 1997, the company is headquartered in San Diego, California. To find out more about Entropia, visit its Web site at www.entropia.com.

Entropia, DCGrid, and the Spherical Design are trademarks of Entropia, Inc. All other trademarks depicted herein are the intellectual property of their respective owners and no affiliation, sponsorship or association is claimed between those parties and Entropia, Inc.


Contact information:

David L. Hart, SDSC, 858.534.8314, dhart@sdsc.edu

Jaci Robbins, Entropia, Inc., 858.623.5352, jrobbins@entropia.com