Sun woos developers to the grid at a dollar an hour

Free CPU hours among incentives offered

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

Sun has been offering its Grid processing and storage capabilities as a service for enterprises looking to outsource large computational workloads since last August. But in March it opened up the retail version of its Grid, which allows smaller businesses or individuals to book CPU 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 at, an online resource that provides development tools, sample applications and discussion forums.

Sun is also offering private project space for independent software vendors 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 has also released the Grid Computer Server Plug-in for NetBeans IDE under the Apache Licence version 2.0.