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2/27/2007
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IBM Launches High-Performance Computing Initiative

IBM works with Microsoft and other application vendors to expand the use of its hardware in computer clusters and mainframes.

IBM on Wednesday unveiled a technology, marketing, and sales initiative to widen adoption of networked x86-based computers in high-performance computing (HPC) environments.

IBM said the initiative is designed to make it easier for organizations to use clusters of servers in processing compute-intensive workloads. Often used in science and academic research, IBM is looking to widen the use of HPC in smaller businesses and departments of larger enterprises.

"IBM plans to reduce the risk, time and costs associated with cluster installation and deployment," Wendy McGee, program director for IBM Cluster Solutions, said in a statement.

IBM has four key components of its new HPC initiative. The first is IBM hardware; third-party applications pre-architected for the life sciences; computer-aided engineering software; and middleware for finance sectors. The products would be built for Linux and Microsoft Windows Computer Cluster Server 2003 operations systems, and would feature networking technology from Cisco Systems.

IBM partners include Accelrys, a software maker for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and industrial chemical research organizations; and CAE software makers ABAQUS, ANSYS, ESI Group, Livermore Software Technology Corp., and MSC Software. IBM also is working with Microsoft.

The second component includes joint marketing and incentives for ISVs and current IBM business partners to bring pre-engineered cluster products to market. The third component is new benchmarking and tuning centers dedicated to Microsoft's cluster server, and fourth is a hosted environment in which customers can test drive HPC applications on a platform built on top of more than 20,000 processors.

IBM hardware in the HPC space include the company's System x, System p, BladeCenter servers, IBM System Storage, and IBM System Cluster 1350.

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