Altair Univa Grid Engine

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Altair Univa
Grid Engine

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00018700

Publication Date: 2011

Report Type: PRODUCT


The Univa Grid Engine provides software for resource and workload management
in addition to dynamic resource provisioning across the datacenter.
Originally part of Oracle’s line-up after its purchase of Sun Microsystems
in 2010, Oracle transitioned the product line and support to Univa in the
fall of 2013. In September 2020, Univa was acquired by Altair, a provider of
HPC workload and workflow management technology. Grid Engine is a scalable
workload management system and its software can link across networked
server, workstation, and desktop environments to help establish a common
grid for the better allocation of processes.

Report Contents:


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The Altair Univa Grid Engine, originally part of Oracle’s software lines
after its purchase of Sun Microsystems, is a scalable workload management
system. Oracle transitioned sales and support to Univa in the fall of
2013. Altair acquired Univa in September 2020.

Faulkner Reports
Oracle Company
Oracle Cloud Computing
Services Product Profile

The Grid Engine is touted as the industry’s most widely deployed scalable
workload management system.

Grid Engine software is a distributed resource management (DRM) system
that manages the data center distribution of user workloads to available
compute resources. Recent updates have added cloud computing support.

The modern version of Grid Engine began as the updated commercial
revision of the open-source N1 Grid Engine project.


Name: Univa Corporation
2300 N Barrington Road
Suite 400
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
(647) 478-5901
(800) 370-5320
Type of Vendor: Data Center and Grid Engine
Founded: 2004
Service Areas: Global

By distributing workloads to the most appropriate available resources,
Univa states that the Grid Engine can extend utilization rates by as much
as 90 to 95 percent. Traditional data center compute resources offer just
10 to 25 percent increases.

When users submit their work to Altair Univa Grid Engine as “jobs,” the
software monitors the current state of all resources in the cluster and
assigns these jobs to the best-suited resources. Grid Engine offers the
flexibility to model a computing environment as resources and to translate
business rules into policies that govern the use of those resources.

In 2018, along with the release of version 8.6.0 of Grid Engine, Univa
boosted performance of the data store, the memory allocator, and the
scheduler. In addition, the communication library was improved to support
data compression before transferring data over the network. Currently, the
Grid Engine is in version 8.6.17, which was released on October 30, 2020.
It offers support for Docker jobs’ parameters and compatibility with DCGM
versions up to 2.0.10.

Perhaps Grid Engine’s greatest feature is its ability to scale to large
clusters, up to 200,000 in a single managed environment. It can manage a
grid of up to 10,000 nodes and run more than 200 million jobs on a monthly
basis. Its scalability is enabled through its service domain manager,
which migrates resources among Grid Engine clusters to accommodate
workload. Other benefits of Grid Engine include:

  • Native Docker Support – Enables the running of Docker
    containers in a Grid Engine cluster at scale to blend containers with
    other workloads. 
  • Support for GPU – Allows GPU frameworks to scale from
    containers and servers to clusters and clouds.
  • Reporting – Monitoring features track and measure
    resource utilization in workload management clusters. 
  • HPC Support – HPC workloads and microservices fun on
    shared Kubernetes clusters. 

Other Grid Engine features are detailed in Table 1.

Table 1. Grid Engine Features
Feature Description
Priority and Utilization Policies Delivers multiple scheduling policies
for matching workload in the cluster to key business objectives
like reducing job turnaround time and workload prioritization.
Scalability Scales to a cluster of up to 200,000
cores in a single, on-premise environment.
Resource Management Collects metrics from all cluster nodes
and uses this information to evaluate workloads that are pending
to match them to available resources.
Multiple Workloads Accepts any application or workload
accelerator including Docker, Intel KNL, and NVIDIA GPUs.
Quotas and Limits Configures flexible quotas on users,
projects, and groups in an effort to control how much workload is
run in the cluster.
Add-on Feature License Orchestrator – Manages the
allocation of licensed applications across Grid Engine clusters.


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The Grid Engine is suitable for computing uses from small scale to Big
Data. It offers administrators the flexibility to model computing
environments as resources to translate business rules into policies that
govern the use of those resources. It can create computing grids at the
department, multi-department, and enterprise level and can also
incorporate and integrate thousands of Windows desktops, servers, and
other platforms into grids.


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Grid Engine is interoperable with open network products.

Table 2 summarizes Oracle Grid Engine’s platform support.

Table 2. Grid Engine Platform Support
Operating System Version Architecture
Microsoft Windows 10 (Pro and Enterprise), 8 (8, 8.1 Pro,
and Enterprise), Server 2012 (Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2),
Vista (Enterprise and Ultimate), 7 (Professional, Enterprise, and
Ultimate), Server 2008 (Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2)
32-bit, 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (Server 2003 and Server
2003 R2); XP Professional (SP3)
Oracle Solaris 10, 11 x86-64, SPARC 64-bit
Apple macOS 10.11 or higher x86, x86-64
Oracle Linux 6 or higher, 7 x86, x86-64

Additional operating systems supported include SLES, RHEL, CentOS,
openSUSE Leap, Ubuntu, HP-UX, and IBM AIX.


Univa provides product support for Univa as well as Open Source Grid
Engine 6.2U5 and variants of Open Grid Scheduler and Son of Grid Engine
8.1.9. Support is available through
or 800-370-5320.


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Grid Engine can be purchased from Altair. Interested parties can also
download a free trial of Grid Engine by completing this form


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The Grid Engine faces competition from IBM Spectrum Computing, the Globus
Toolkit, and the World Community Grid.

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