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Daimler Maps Grid Savings

PHILADELPHIA -- Daimler-Chrysler is testing a new workstation-based grid system for running crash tests, which could result in massive savings compared to using an expensive cluster of servers.

Speaking at the Gt04 conference here today, Steffen Neumann, project manager for consulting and partnerships at Daimler Chrysler Research, explained that the company has harnessed workstation processing power to support its crash test research in Palo Alto, Calif. The workstations are being used to run the car manufacturer’s key LS-DYNA crash test application.

Currently, crash tests consume up to 70 percent of the computing resources in Daimler-Chrysler’s high-performance computing data center which uses a range of HP/UX server clusters.

Such is the pressure on car manufacturers to boost both safety and productivity that General Motors Corp. recently installed a gigantic IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
supercomputer at its Michigan data center to slash the time spent processing data from expensive crash tests (see IBM Speeds GM Crash Tests).

It’s not surprising, then, that Daimler-Chrysler was so keen to find a cost-effective way of running these tests. But why build a workstation-based grid? Well, the IBM ThinkPads deployed in the grid were already on-site, and, according to Neumann, were not being used on weekends and evenings.

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