General Atomics Acquires Exclusive License from UCSD for Commercialization of Unique Data Management Software


Sep 22, 2003

GA’s Nirvana Division sets the stage for enterprise-wide data sharing and management.

San Diego, California. General Atomics (GA) has acquired an exclusive license from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to further develop the capabilities of the internationally recognized data management middleware, the Storage Resource Broker“ (SRB) for use in commercial applications. The SRB was originally developed through the cooperative efforts of GA and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) beginning in 1995 with the support of the National Science Foundation (NSF). SDSC is an organized research unit of UCSD and is leading the way in developing a national Cyberinfrastructure that will provide the technological foundation for the next generation of science and engineering advances. Exact terms have not been disclosed.

SRB enables users to create, manage, and preserve unified "virtual data collections" that are located on heterogeneous data resources distributed across a network. This announcement exemplifies the cooperative relationship between academia and industry in bringing advanced technology from federally funded research into pragmatic, cost-effective applications. SDSC will continue to develop SRB’s capabilities to support research in science and engineering.

GA plans to work closely with all hardware, database and application providers to ensure that their systems are “SRB-Enabled”. In an “SRB-Enabled” mode, diverse data resources and software applications will be more easily accessed in a collaborative environment. Development of data management applications will be simplified. Additionally, SRB will apply the capabilities of accepted and developing standards for XML, web services and the grid, to web-based data access and communications. SRB is intentionally hardware and software agnostic; and GA will continue to work to ensure that SRB supports interoperability between both proprietary and open source storage systems. GA has an active and aggressive effort underway to identify and pursue complementary strategic alliance development to accelerate the deployment of SRB on a national and international level.

“UCSD and SDSC continue to be an important technology resource for San Diego, the State of California, and the nation,” said Neal Blue, Chairman and CEO of GA. “SDSC and GA have had an ongoing relationship now for almost two decades. GA’s interest in the commercial development of SRB has largely been driven by SDSC’s repeatedly successful efforts in evolving and deploying the technology over the past 8 years. The SDSC SRB team, led by Dr. Reagan Moore, has helped support successful implementation of SRB in over 55 nationally prominent collaborative research projects.”

According to Blue, “Dr. Moore, an originator and inventor of SRB, should be given great credit for recognizing over 10 years ago that a system such as SRB would be needed today and into the future to support the explosive growth of data and distributed high-performance computing. This capability is critical to our country’s current economic, environmental, and defense needs. Over two years ago, we established the Nirvana Division of GA for the sole purpose of dedicating resources to SRB development, deployment, and commercialization. As evidenced by the execution of this license agreement, we look forward to building upon this obviously successful collaboration between UCSD, SDSC, and GA.”

“This licensing agreement is an important indicator of the maturity of the SRB data management middleware,” said Reagan Moore, co-director of the Data and Knowledge Systems program at SDSC and adjunct professor of computer science in the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD. “The SRB team at SDSC is aggressively extending the SRB as the most advanced end-to-end system for data, information, and knowledge management in science and engineering research. The SRB technology is used to implement data grids for sharing data, digital libraries for publishing data, and persistent archives for preserving data.”

“Although originally developed to manage massive volumes of data used in very high-end applications for complex analyses, SRB also provides robust and proven capability for easily managing and accessing the exploding mass of information being generated within both the private and public sectors,” said Constantin Scheder, Director of GA’s Nirvana Division, and a strong advocate of SRB technology. “In essence, SRB transparently provides access to the right data, at the right time, to the right entity, resource, or person. SRB provides secure data access without having to know anything about the underlying infrastructure. Additionally, the ability to remotely administer SRB allows a small staff to administer data resources across an entire enterprise or global community of data users and providers. Ultimately, we save you time in organizing, finding, reaching, accessing, and integrating your data resources, saving you money.”

Bill Decker, Assistant Director for physical science licensing with UCSD’s office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Services (TechTIPS), stated. “We’re pleased that our office could assist in working with GA to bring this SDSC developed technology to the public at-large.”

About General Atomics/Nirvana

General Atomics (GA) ( and its affiliated companies specialize in diversified research, manufacturing, and development in energy, defense, and other advanced technologies. GA manufactures, operates, and services state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles; and provides advanced high-power electric technologies, superconducting magnets, information technologies, nuclear instrumentation, systems for hazardous material destruction, and many other products and services for government and industry. Headquartered in San Diego, the privately-held company currently employs over 3000 worldwide, including over 1500 scientists. The Nirvana Division of GA ( develops and deploys advanced data and information management systems directed to simplifying the process of managing and accessing information, irrespective of data type or location. Nirvana’s flagship product, SRB, creates a user-friendly virtual data resource customized to the needs of the data users and administrators.

About the University of California, San Diego

Since its founding in 1959, UCSD has rapidly risen to its status as one of the nation’s premier institutions for higher education and scientific exploration. A magnet for those seeking a fresh, next-generation approach to education, research and service, UCSD receives the second-highest application rate in the nation, and currently supports 22,000 students. The National Research Council ranks the quality of UCSD’s faculty and graduate programs 10th in the nation. UCSD’s $1.7 billion annual budget includes $627 million in federal research funding; the campus ranks fifth in the nation for federal R&D expenditures.

About the San Diego Super Computer Center

The San Diego Supercomputer Center’s (SDSC) mission is to develop and apply high-performance information technologies for science and society. SDSC is an organized research unit of the University of California, San Diego, and the leading-edge site of the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI). 

About UCSD Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Services

UCSD’s office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Services (TechTIPS) manages the intellectual property developed at UCSD and provides educational and information services on intellectual property matters to the UCSD community. As part of its mission, TechTIPS facilitates the transfer of innovations from the campus to the private sector for the benefit of society, through the management of all new inventions, tangible research materials, and selected copyrightable materials (collectively, "intellectual property") developed at UCSD and owned by the Regents of the University of California.

Media contacts:

Douglas Fouquet, General Atomics 858.455.2173

Greg Lund, UCSD 858.534.8314

Other Contacts:

Constantin Scheder, Director, General Atomics, Nirvana Division 858.455.2536

Ken Murray, Strategic Alliance Development, General Atomics, Nirvana Division 530.750.1060

Greg Granello, Business Development, General Atomics, Nirvana Division 214.515.9862


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