IBM recruits students for grid computing effort

IBM Corp. will go with a youth movement as one way to accelerate its grid computing initiatives when the company kicks off its Extreme Blue summer intern program next week.

As part of its annual program, IBM is assembling what it believes are the brightest computer science students from across the US to work on building the next generation of grid services and applications. The students will use IBM's new grid that connects all of its internal research labs as the development platform, company officials said.

Largely, the software the students will be working on is intended help users take grid technologies developed by scientists and other members of the technical community and apply them to the commercial world. Some of the projects the students will help pilot include databases for sharing information in a grid, a video grid for distribution of digital media content, and several Web services that enable virtual communities to collaborate using the grid.

"We think grid computing is one of the hottest areas in computing today, and this [program] represents an opportunity to have the next generation of talent working on the next generation of computing," said Stuart Feldman, vice president of IBM's Internet Technology.

Once they have finished code, students can test it on IBM's intragrid, which is anchored by geographically distributed supercomputers that links the company's labs located in the United States, Switzerland, Japan, and England.

The database project will involve developing federated data access for grid computing based on DB2 and the Open Grid Service Architecture, which was built by IBM and the Globus open community. This new management software is intended to allow the open integration of standards-based storage and data resources across multiple grids.

Another project, under the banner of Next Generation Collaboration, involves writing standard interfaces that enable application developers to embed collaborative capabilities into Web-based applications. This is supposed to make it easier for Lotus products to be used collaboratively over multiple grids.

A third project will be technology based on IBM's Content Manager, intended to realize the goal of large-scale dynamic media content delivery by taking advantage largely of Web services.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM began the Extreme Blue internship program in 1999 and typically has about 100 students participating each year.

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