RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK–Former Sun Microsystems executive and world-renowned grid computing expert Wolfgang Gentzsch has joined MCNC as its managing director.

MCNC is an independent non-profit corporation established to promote technology-led economic development in North Carolina in 1980.

Gentzsch will direct MCNC’s grid strategy and technology development, including one the nation’s first statewide research and education grids.

MCNC launched the multi-year, multi-million dollar project in partnership with the University of North Carolina last fall. The statewide network, operated by MCNC, provides advanced communication and video services for distance learning, high-speed Net access, and access to national research networks.

Grid computing, an emerging technology, represents a new way to
conduct business and research over the network, providing users with
unprecedented computing power, services and information no matter where the resources are located. Multiple computing platforms and data sources on the grid operate, and appear to a user, as a single computing system. Networked resources on the grid are shared for collaboration, efficiency and cost savings.

MCNC and North Carolina universities demonstrated national leadership in deploying computing grids when it launched the North Carolina BioGrid in 2001, one of the nation’s first grid test beds for life sciences research. In 2003, MCNC committed $6 million toward the deployment of a statewide grid infrastructure.

“North Carolina’s Grid Initiative will be a catalyst for economic
expansion and business growth,” Gentzsch said. “North Carolina has always been a leader in advancing new communications technologies and already has a wealth of existing resources at MCNC and at the state’s outstanding universities, making this the ideal place to cultivate the many benefits of grid computing.”

Gentzsch joined Sun when it acquired Gridware, a distributed computing software company that he co-founded in 1999. Gridware’s technology is the foundation for the Sun Grid Engine, the world’s leading
distributed resource management software used in over 10,000 departmental and enterprise grids worldwide.

Gentzsch was also a professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of Applied Sciences in Regensburg, Germany, and served as the head of computational fluid dynamics and supercomputing at the German Agency for Aerospace and Aeronautics.

“MCNC’s efforts in grid computing represent an exciting opportunity for North Carolina and for Cisco Systems,” said Wayne Clark, Cisco Systems’networking service architect. “Dr. Gentzsch is a recognized leader in grid computing. His leadership at MCNC will put North Carolina’s grid initiatives at the forefront of the global effort to develop and deploy these new technologies in both academic and commercial organizations.”