IBM Introduces First Pre-Packaged Blade Superclusters

Denser Clusters Offer Customers Manageability Advantage

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 21 May 2003: IBM today married two of the most powerful trends in computing - Linux clusters and Blade servers -- with the introduction of the first pre-packaged and tested supercluster that is ultra-dense and incredibly easy to manage.

The new IBM eServer Cluster 1350 combines the dense IBM eServer BladeCenter with an expanded range of management and storage systems to help customers reduce the complexity of deploying and managing Linux clusters. Combining open source software and industry standard hardware, Linux clusters provide customers access to the power of a supercomputer at a fraction of the price.

"We are leading the competition by offering customers an expanded set of building blocks for Deep Computing that provide the power behind everything from petroleum exploration to digital animation," said David Turek, vice president, IBM Deep Computing. "Customers in all segments, including the very high-end, are no longer interested in building their own systems. The IBM eServer Cluster 1350 ensures customers a dependable solution with a short deployment time."

Virtue of Integration
IBM offers the broadest range of pre-tested, factory built configurations based on industry-leading performance and technology. The eServer Cluster 1350 can be built with any combination of IBM eServer BladeCenter systems, IBM eServer x335 and eServer x345 systems. Pre-testing and integration ensures that the systems work effectively together. The cluster can also combine eServer x345 or eServer x360 storage nodes, as well as an eServer x345 management node, all using Intel® Xeon(TM) processors running at speeds up to 3.06 GHz.

IBM's deep skills in developing large systems from a wide range of building blocks saves customer's time for deployment and creates a reliable IT environment for the most challenging tasks.

Ultra-dense clusters
IBM's eServer BladeCenter delivers twice the density of equivalent 1U servers and reduces the number of cables required by up to 83 percent. The company's blade solution packs up to 84 two-way blades per rack versus HP's maximum of 48 2-way blades per rack. This level of density becomes crucial when customers are working with large clusters and floor space is at a premium.

Cluster Management and Storage Options
The IBM Cluster Management Software (CSM) was developed specifically to address needs of cluster customers and automates repetitive tasks and error detection to enhance problem avoidance and rapid problem resolution. CSM provides a manageability advantage for dense server clusters as a part of IBM autonomic computing. CSM for the Cluster 1350 is the Linux version of the same software the powered IBM's famous Deep Blue chess-playing supercomputer.

The eServer Cluster 1350 supports IBM's TotalStorage FAStT200 and FAStT700 storage. IBM TotalStorage improves asset utilization allowing customers to treat resources as a single pool, accessing and managing resources by effect rather than physical location. Virtualization turns isolated islands of resources into valuable data and increased capacity.

In addition, IBM has integrated an optional fibre switch into the BladeCenter chassis to further simplify deployment and management of a Storage Area Network (SAN).

Customer Accolades
Arizona's Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has recently adopted a 512-node IBM eServer 1350 cluster running Linux to power life sciences research.

"IBM's pre-tested Linux clusters were ideal for our research on cancer and other complex genetic diseases," said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen president and scientific director. "With the power of this supercomputer, we will be able to directly address questions unattainable in the computing environments of most research programs. Working with IBM is allowing us to move more quickly and efficiently to help solve these complex biomedical problems."

The Supercomputing on demand facility in Poughkeepsie, NY will also take advantage of the new IBM eServer Cluster 1350.

General availability for the Cluster 1350 with the IBM eServer BladeCenter is June 6, 2003.