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Sun's JXTA poses expansion possibilities

Sun Microsystems is pursuing opportunities for its JXTA peer-to-peer technology. One possibility is putting it in the Sun Grid...

Sun Microsystems is pursuing opportunities for its JXTA peer-to-peer technology. One possibility is putting it in the Sun Grid Engine software for grid computing.

The company this week unveiled Version 2.1 of its JXTA open-source, peer-to-peer technology, featuring metering of peer network traffic. Sun may also add JXTA to other products such as Sun Grid Engine, which provides grid services, said Juan Carlos Soto, Sun group manager for Project JXTA.

"JXTA is a nice discovery [mechanism] to let you discover when computers are available and then incorporate them into your grid," Soto said.

JXTA works across the Internet and can traverse firewalls, with permission.

Sun, with the 2.1 version of JXTA this week for the Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) platform, added metering and monitoring, enabling the inspection of traffic and memory usage on a network peer, and querying of remote peers for this information.

Available this week for free download, Version 2.1 also features enhanced communications, including verified packet delivery to a peer, via support in the JXTA pipes service. Also added is support for the sockets paradigm for network programming.

Meanwhile, James Gosling, vice president of Sun Labs and a Sun Fellow, stressed that Sun, with tools such as Project Rave, wants to get past the complexity that has been endemic to Java.

Java is good for building complex systems but has been complex itself, he admitted. "[Microsoft's] .net makes the easy things easy and the hard things impossible," Gosling said. "For us, hard things are possible and the easy things are tough."

Paul Krill writes for InfoWorld

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