To show their devotion to such an endeavor, IBM and Google are sponsoring a massive cluster of computers, including both Google servers and IBM BladeCenter / System x servers. The cluster will be reachable over the Internet, and will rely on Linux along with XEN virtualization. They are also backing it with their own set of open-source software tools and assisting in the management of the projects it spawns.
Some schools participating include the University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon. Both IBM and Google have said their own bits about the project, which seems like a very ambitious one indeed.