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IBM Debuts New Line Of Supercomputer Clusters

IBM on Tuesday unveiled a new line of pre-packaged supercomputer clusters, dubbed Departmental Supercomputing Solutions, that targets small- and mid-sized organizations.
The idea, said Herb Schultz, of IBM's Deep Computing division, is to make supercomputer-sized clusters available to a wider range of businesses, universities, and research centers.

"We're strong at the high end of the HPC (high-performance computing) market," said Schultz, "But even though we know that most of the opportunities are in the lower end, we've not focused on that. This is the first of many elements that will raise awareness of IBM in the lower-end clustering space."

IBM's new Solutions are actually pre-packaged, pre-tested clusters that offer customers a turnkey supercomputer, more or less, said Schultz. The clusters, which are pre-loaded with either Linux or Microsoft Windows operating systems, come in several configurations.

Each cluster consists of servers for running applications, a management server to administer the cluster, and a network interconnect to allow communication between the servers, said IBM. "All the computing elements and switches, and the management server, are integrated in the racks," said Schultz, "then tested with different software components. The operating systems are put on and various workloads are run on the cluster before it leaves the factory."

The underlying servers vary depending on the configuration purchased, and include IBM's eServer Blade Center HS20 -- a 7U chassis that can accommodate up to 14 two-way blades -- the eServer xSeries 335, and the eServer 325. IBM will populate the servers with either Intel's Xeon processor or AMD's 64-bit Opteron.

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