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Research in Atlantic Canada Coming Up Aces as ACEnet Standardizes Collaborative High Performance Computing Grid on Sun Microsystems

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October 25, 2005

Source: St. Mary's University:

Research in Atlantic Canada Coming Up Aces as ACEnet Standardizes Collaborative High Performance Computing Grid on Sun Microsystems

St. John’s, NL. – October 25, 2005 –Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced that the Atlantic Computational Excellence Network (ACEnet) will build the largest high performance computing network in Atlantic Canada on Sun's technology platform. ACEnet, a consortium that links researchers at Dalhousie University, the University of Prince Edward Island, Mount Allison University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of New Brunswick, Saint Mary’s University, and St. Francis Xavier University, in a collaborative environment, will significantly boost Atlantic Canada’s research, development, and commercialization capabilities.

Sun’s Client Solutions organization plans to build a system drawing on a full range of technologies, including Sun Java(TM) Enterprise System (Java ES), Sun StorEdge(TM) arrays, x64 based Sun Fire(TM) servers with the AMD Opteron(TM) processor, Sun Grid and identity management solutions, and the Solaris(TM) 10 Operating System (OS). The system meets ACEnet’s mandate for: delivering the right capacity and service level to users; building a well designed, standards-based network; providing a technology roadmap that helps ensure ACEnet will continue to evolve with users needs; and facilitating collaboration between researchers and their institutions, regardless of location.

"The primary role of ACEnet is to provide Atlantic Canada’s researchers with high performance computing resources and leading edge collaboration tools, so they are equipped to conduct world-class research," said Dr. Robert Deupree, Principal Investigator for ACEnet. "We chose Sun Microsystems to deliver our technology platform because of the company’s obvious technological strengths, its willingness to work with us as a key partner, and deep understanding of the needs of the research community."

"Shrinking" geography and expanding the knowledge base:
As Atlantic Canada’s first fully distributed computational grid, ACEnet links personnel, shares computing resources and brings together multi-university research teams. ACEnet will provide a new network of collaboration between researchers by allowing them to interact in real time.

"Collaboration is at the core of ACEnet," continued Dr. Deupree. "While our region has many leading researchers in their fields, the distance between their respective universities hampers interaction. The collaboration tools provided by Sun Microsystems will allow ACEnet to electronically ‘shrink’ our geography."

The Sun Microsystems infrastructure will be located at St. Francis Xavier University, Saint Mary’s University, the University of New Brunswick, and Memorial University of Newfoundland, and made available to partner organizations and researchers at all universities in the region. Using Sun Control Station software, ACEnet can deliver a true utility computing model for high performance computing services. The high-availability grid helps ensure researchers have access to compute cycles when they need them, and the entire grid is kept at maximum usage.

"Atlantic Canada is challenged by the sheer size of its geography, and with the ACEnet network in place, physical separation will no longer be a barrier to the sharing of ideas, a concept near and dear to Sun", according to Stéphane Boisvert, President, Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc. "Leveraging an open standards-based infrastructure built on x64 based Sun Fire servers with Sun Grid and the identity management components of Java Enterprise System and Solaris 10 (OS) helps ensure researchers have easy, secure access to a powerful compute environment. The vast amounts of data will be safeguarded by ACEnet’s Sun StorEdge arrays, which deliver highly available storage capacity."

Innovation generates economic opportunity:

ACEnet will be a service for and have connections with a wide range of research, including oil and gas, marine engineering, pharmaceuticals, underwater vehicles, physics, physical oceanography, and computer science. ACEnet’s grid will allow the region’s researchers to maximize their work, and attract high caliber, leading edge projects and researchers to Atlantic Canada. ACEnet is hosting HPCS 2006, Canada’s premiere annual conference for multi-disciplinary high performance computing, in St. John’s, Newfoundland in the spring. Approximately 200 participants are expected.

"ACEnet will create and operate HPC facilities to rival the best in Canada and the world. These facilities will be interconnected by high-speed networks, allowing them to behave as a single, regionally distributed computational power grid of enormous capacity" said Dr. Chris Loomis, VP of Research at Memorial University. "ACEnet will also have sophisticated video-teleconferencing facilities to bind together our geographically dispersed research communities."

ACEnet will also create important opportunities for research partnerships between the participating Atlantic universities and the public and private sectors. For instance, energy companies actively exploring and drilling off the Atlantic coast require a significant amount of modeling and computer simulation, generally conducted in a high performance computing environment. With ACEnet in place, modeling can be done locally, rather than being farmed out to oil companies in more traditional locations, such as Houston, Calgary or Aberdeen.

About ACEnet:
ACEnet ("Atlantic Computational Excellence Network") is Atlantic Canada's entry into a national fabric of HPC facilities. It is a partnership of seven institutions, including Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of New Brunswick, Mount Allison University, Dalhousie University, St. Francis Xavier University, St. Mary's University and the University of Prince Edward Island. For more information visit
About Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc.

Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems, Inc., is headquartered in Markham, Ontario. The company, which employs more than 550 persons, has offices in Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria. Sun products and services are also available through Sun Authorized Independent Marketing Organizations and iForce[SM] System Providers across Canada. For more information, visit

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.:

A singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer"[TM] -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world's most important markets. Sun's philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at

Copyright 2005 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved. Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun Logo, Java, Sun Fire, Solaris, iForce , Sun StorEdge and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. AMD, Opteron, the AMD logo, the AMD Opteron logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices. Sun, Sun Microsystems, le logo Sun, Java, Sun Fire, Solaris, iForce, Sun StorEdge et The Network Is The Computer sont des marques déposées ou enregistrées de Sun Microsystems, Inc. aux Etats-Unis et dans d'autres pays. AMD, Opteron, le logo AMD, le logo AMD Opteron sont des marques déposées ou enregistrées de Advanced Micro Devices.

Saint Mary's University is known for its community outreach projects, both in Canada and around the world. Saint Mary's, founded in 1802, is home to one of Canada's leading business schools, a Science Faculty widely known for its cutting-edge research, a comprehensive and innovative Arts Faculty and a vibrant Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.


For More Information:

Paul Fitzgerald
Public Affairs Officer
Saint Mary's University, Public Affairs
(902) 420.5514

Mr. Graham Mowbray,
Executive Director
(709) 737-6239

Sun Microsystems:
Louella Sequeira
(905) 415-7888



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