Sun offers 100 free CPU hours to grid developers

In bid to attract programmers to use Sun Grid, company also provides private project space, other incentives

Sun Microsystems Inc. on Thursday rolled out several incentives to draw developers into creating applications for the Sun Grid, the company announced at the JavaOne Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Since last August, Sun has been offering its Grid processing and storage capabilities as a service for enterprises looking to outsource large computational workloads, but this March it opened up the retail version of its Grid, in which smaller businesses or individuals can book CPU (central processing unit) hours with a credit card through a Web-based portal at a rate of US$1 per hour per CPU.

To encourage the development of Grid-enabled applications, Sun is offering developers 100 free CPU hours and other incentives, such as a contest in which developers can win monetary prizes for innovative applications. To qualify for the free CPU hours, developers have to join Sun's Grid developer community, an online resource that provides development tools, sample applications and discussion forums.

Sun is also offering private project space for ISVs to develop and port their applications to the Grid and a separate project to help developers use the Grid for the distributed execution of parallel computations.

Sun also released the Grid Computer Server Plug-in for NetBeans IDE released under the Apache License Version 2.0.