Powers Unfiltered

An entrepreneur’s journey into grid computing and partnering with Microsoft, by John Powers

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Interesting Digipede Win

December 10th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I’ve written here about Digipede’s financial services customers (about half of Digipede’s business is in that market), but today I’ll talk about an interesting project from the other half of our business. 

We did a press release today  about the recent sale we made to the US Navy.  You can read that here, so let’s go a little deeper. 

The Navy has access to huge volumes of very accurate geodetic data — information that tells the location and elevation of every point on earth.  (I never knew much about this area until this year, but a lot of decent public information is available.  You can look at this Wikipedia article if you’re interested, and dig around from there.)  Processing geodetic data is a very compute-intensive process.  Combining that information with 2-dimensional image data is even more complex. 

One application for this data is “terrain generation,” a process of converting raw data into a format useful for visualizing terrain in flight simulations.  A group at Lockheed Martin develops specialized software for this purpose; we’ve been working with their TOPSCENE group for some time. 

That group approached us for assistance in increasing the speed of their terrain generation process.  They’ve been great to work with — they’ve put the Digipede Network to work on their problem, and have achieved great results.  Their own press release  about the Digipede-enabled version of their software documents a 20x speedup in processing for our mutual customer at the US Navy.   

We’re excited about this application, for a variety of reasons.

First, Lockheed Martin is the largest independent software vendor (ISV) we’ve worked with, and they’ve validated our premise that ISVs would find the Digipede Network (and particularly the Digipede Framework SDK) the best choice for grid-enabling complex applications.  This is an important point for us.  ISVs can work with other vendors, or build their own application-specific distributed computing solution, and Lockheed Martin certainly has the resources to pursue either path — but they chose Digipede, and have achieved great results. 

Second, we see many, many more applications in processing geodetic data.  We’ve already made other sales in that area to government agencies outside of defense (no announcements yet, but stay tuned!), and we see increasing interest from commercial customers in this area as well.   

Finally, as many financial customers struggle with market issues (some of our clients from 2007 no longer exist in recognizable form), it’s important that Digipede diversify and demonstrate growth in other markets.  Customers like the US Navy certainly help with this important goal.  While government purchases can be  slow, we’ve been quietly working this area for years, and it’s great to see results we can discuss. 

Tags: Grid applications · Growth · Press coverage

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Jonathan // Dec 10, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Congratulations. Digipede has gone a long way since from its mass pdf-spitting days!

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