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IBM Buffaloes in on Dell, EMC

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is horning in on Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL)
and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)
at a university supercomputing center, because the medical research facilitys director found Dell’s support... well, less than super.

IBM announced today that the University at Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics
will use its servers and storage to help study human protein behavior. Dr. Jeffrey Skolnick, the center’s director, says poor support from Dell prompted him to make the move.

“I was disappointed in the lack of support Dell provided subsequent to installation,” Skolnick says. “Their responsiveness was not what it should have been. I think they lost interest in the project.” Skolnick's involved in helping design drugs to treat diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis.

Skolnick has a cluster of more than 2,000 Dell servers and EMC storage systems in place today. On April 1, the center plans to bring online an additional cluster of 266 IBM blade servers and seven xSeries 345 servers, along with 5 TBytes of FastT700 storage systems.

The center uses supercomputers to interpret biological data at the molecular level -- which requires massive number crunching. The center's new supercomputer is cable of a peak performance of more than 1.32 teraflops. The clustered blade servers run Red Hat Advance Server 2.1 Linux.

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