IBM's Linux Servers Forecast Clear Skies For National Weather Service - InformationWeek

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IBM's Linux Servers Forecast Clear Skies For National Weather Service

The National Weather Service (NWS) is using powerful IBM eServer systems to improve the forecasting of extreme weather conditions.

In the aftermath of the blizzard that hit most of the Northeast last week, IBM this week announced that the National Weather Service (NWS) is using powerful IBM eServer systems to improve the forecasting of extreme weather conditions. The new technology includes IBM eServer IntelliStation and IBM eServer xSeries systems and aims to greatly enhance the National Weather Service's ability to rapidly deliver real-time data to meteorologists and hydrologists nationwide.

The IBM technology is assisting NWS improve data delivery so that media outlets can deliver warnings to specific locations. Powering the system is a technology infrastructure based on more than 900 Linux-powered IBM IntelliStation M Pro and Z Pro workstations, which have replaced proprietary HP-UX systems. In addition to the IBM IntelliStation workstations, as part of the National Weather Service's Linux migration plan, 160 IBM xSeries servers have been deployed.

Since moving to the Linux/IBM-based infrastructure, the NWS has experienced a 400 percent increase in application performance, from refresh rates of 247 seconds down to 62 seconds; end users of the system are receiving updated data markedly faster. Additionally, this workstation replacement project has resulted in a 40-percent hardware maintenance cost savings. In a time of budget restraint, the cost savings realized have had a profound impact on the NWS.

The IBM IntelliStation workstations are located in 137 locations nationwide and are accessed by meteorologists and hydrologists. The workstations pull data from an infrastructure of Intel-based Linux servers, which receive data from the NOAAPort satellite broadcast network.

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