Apple has jumped on the grid computing bandwagon with the development of a computational clustering technology dubbed Xgrid.
Developed by Apple's Advanced Computation Group, the platform is designed to assist scientists and academics working in compute intensive environments.
Xgrid combines the processing power of all available networked IT resources, including desktops and servers, by creating a grid-enabled 'virtual' IT environment to execute batch and workload processing.
With Xgrid running on Xserve G5 servers in a 42U rack, up to 84 Power PC G5 processors can be clustered to create a supercomputer with 1.5 teraflops of processing power.
Available as a free beta download from www.apple.com, Xgrid is already being used to power the BLAST gene-sequencing application on multiple Macs using Apple's Rendezvous networking technology.
"The Xgrid BLAST application enables bioinformatics researchers to perform distributed BLAST searches on a cluster running the Xgrid software," said Richard Scheller, senior vice president of research at Genentech.
"We tested Xgrid BLAST by querying DNA sequence files for matches against multi-gigabyte genomic databases on a cluster of four dual-processor Xserves."
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