updated 02:05 am EST, Mon February 12, 2007
OpenMacGrid uses Xgrid
Leveraging Apple's Xgrid technology, MacResearch.org today announced the first wide-scale, publicly-accessible computing grid: OpenMacGrid allows anyone running Mac OS X 10.4 or later to donate their Mac's spare CPU cycles to help researchers perform intensive scientific calculations, in much the same way as projects such as SETI@Home. "Unlike other distributed computing projects, which run a single application and have restricted access, OpenMacGrid will be open for use by any scientist following submission and acceptance of a project proposal," the company said. To contribute CPU cycles to OpenMacGrid only requires users to be running Mac OS X v10.4 or later; they must enter a few details in the system preferences; however, no software installation is required. Users can monitor activity on the grid using the specially-developed Dashboard widget available free for download. Scientists wishing to leverage OpenMacGrid for their research can apply for access using an online submission form.
"Grid computing is gaining in popularity, but grids are generally closed to the general public, or limited to specific software applications. Apple’s Xgrid, the first grid software built into a mainstream operating system, makes it possible to harvest the idle cycles of Macs for intensive computation," the company wrote in its release. "Although Xgrid has found application on a limited scale within organizations, until now, no wide-scale, publicly-accessible Xgrid network has existed."