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IBM's Cluster Bluster

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) today fired a shot across the bows of its high-performance computing rivals Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) with a raft of new clustering technology.

The hardware giant unveiled the latest version of its pre-packaged Linux cluster, the 1350, which now includes Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) Opteron processor-based blades and InfiniBand switches from Voltaire Inc. (see IBM Unveils New Clustering). IBM OpenPower 710 and 720 servers also will be added to the cluster package to provide management and storage.

Rather than deploying clusters piece-by-piece, the idea is that users get a pre-tested set of solutions from IBM. Execs at the hardware vendor say that more than 100 different pieces of technology are now offered as part of the overall solution.

IBM's move underscores its desire to win data center market share, according to Gordon Haff, senior analyst at Illuminata Inc. They have been pursuing this pre-packaged clustered solution idea pretty aggressively for a few years now,” he says.

But IBM is not the only vendor looking to make a splash with its clustered offerings. Rival manufacturers HP and Sun have also been making noises in this space (see New HP Clusters Simplify HPC and Sun Intros Bioinformatics Cluster).

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