Mandrakesoft to participate in IGGI supercomputer project
Posted on: 02/02/2005 04:17 PM

A press release from Mandrakesoft:

Mandrakesoft and BRGM to participate in IGGI supercomputer project

Moreno Valley, CA; Paris, France; February 2nd 2004. Mandrakesoft and BRGM will participate along with INRIA in IGGI, a research project in grid computing. The consortium will develop the technologies needed to turn any network of commodity desktop machines into a cluster. The project will receive governmental funding.

Linux clustering is an extremely successful, but limited, technology. It has helped bring down the cost of supercomputers dramatically. By harnessing the combined power of inexpensive Linux machines, Linux clusters can reach higher computing speeds than traditional "big iron" systems. The problem is that doing so requires dedicated machines - PCs that are set aside for clustering do nothing else. But every organisation has its own network of PCs, and most of those are idle most of the time. The aim of IGGI is to find ways to leverage this unused computing power, so that any computer network can be turned into a dynamic cluster.

"The idea is that your average office desktop computer spends most of its uptime doing strictly nothing. And considering the sheer processing power a modern desktop machine represents, the combined power of a whole network is quite impressive. IGGI will develop an integrated solution for harnessing this power - so that a desktop machine can be running an Office program one minute and processing some kind of distributed computing job the next.", explains Jacques Vairon of BRGM.

Iggi brings together three cluster computing experts. INRIA, a leading research center in Computer Science, is the official lead for the project, and will investigate solutions for dynamically monitoring and harnessing resources. BRGM, the French geological survey institute, is involved in geology, geophysics, natural hazards, water assessment and pollution research (each a field with major needs for computing power), will lend its Intranet (about 700 PC's) to the project.

Mandrakesoft, the European leader in Linux and Open Source software, has experience working in the field of cluster computing. It took part in CLIC and HYADES clustering research projects, and publishes Mandrakeclustering, a solution for rapid and easy building of computer clusters. Mandrakesoft's role will be, more specifically, to adapt its Linux technologies to the requirements of the project.

Applications are not limited to the field of scientific computing - although many research centers won't fail to be interested in a technology that can help them use their computing infrastructure optimally. Some key components of enterprise computing require intensive processing; these include data-mining and CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

"The concept of putting the wasted CPU cycles of desktop machines into good use is not entirely new. The SETI project, for example, has been doing it for many years now. But theirs and similar technologies are nowhere near as flexible as IGGI will be. An IGGI grid will have all the capabilities of a Linux cluster, but that cluster will constantly evolve according to available resources. It is quite an exciting project to be a part of." concludes Fran├žois Bancilhon, Mandrakesoft CEO.

Mandrakesoft's part in the project's global budget is of 800 KEUROS for a period of 24 months. IGGI is funded by French governmental agency ANVAR. Mandrakesoft will receive a research grant that amounts to 260 KEUR.

About Mandrakesoft

Mandrakesoft is the publisher of the popular Mandrakelinux operating system, one of the most full-featured and easy-to-use Linux systems available. The company offers its enterprise, government and educational customers a complete range of GNU/Linux and Open Source software and related services. Mandrakesoft products are available in more than 120 countries through dedicated channels and also from, the company's online store. Number 1 in several countries, Mandrakesoft has won many awards for quality and technical innovation. "Born on the Internet" in late 1998, Mandrakesoft has offices in the United States and France. Mandrakesoft is traded on Paris Euronext March Libre (ISIN Code: FR0004159382/MLMAN; Reuters code: MAKE.PA) and the US OTC market (stock symbol MDKFF).

About BRGM

BRGM is France's major public institution in the Geoscience field. It fulfils the triple role of scientific research, public expertise and international cooperation.

- Understand geological phenomena, develop new methodologies and techniques, produce and disseminate pertinent, high-quality data.
- Provide the necessary tools for public policies concerning surface, subsurface and natural-resource management, natural-risk and pollution prevention, and regional development and planning.

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