The first stage of the installation, a cluster of 44 IBM p690 Unix servers and 42 terabytes of disk storage, has a peak speed of 7.3 trillion floating-point operations per second, according to IBM. The vendor expects the system to exceed 100 teraflops by 2009. IBM will host the computer in a facility at Gaithersburg, Md.
Dave Turek, IBM's VP of Deep Computing, says the National Weather Service will access computing power from the system via the Internet and other network technologies. IBM's hosting of the computer exemplifies "changing business models" in the supercomputing market, he says.
National Weather Service forecasts are used for television and newspaper weather reports, and in aviation, agriculture, and other fields.