New IBM Systems Optimized for Clusters, Storage-Hungry Applications

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ARMONK, N.Y. - 18 May 2010: IBM (NYSE:IBM) announced today new x86 systems that leverage IBM software and hardware to deliver optimized performance and speed rollouts of high-performance clusters. The company also introduced a new storage-rich server designed for clients looking to cut costs and maximize internal storage capacity.

IBM is also announcing a new capability for clients looking for optimized performance on demanding workloads such as energy exploration, biological research or financial market analysis.  Customers can now get  NVIDIA Tesla© M2050 graphics-processing units integrated into iDataPlex systems to substantially increase performance of specific HPC applications by boosting the processing core count by more than 37 times.  This powerful combination can quadruple the peak performance of a single rack of iDataPlex systems to 49 teraflops. (1) 

The new IBM Intelligent Cluster offers pre-configured, pre-tested clustering solutions.  The Intelligent Cluster portfolio includes servers and switches and arrives fully configured to speed time-to-production. The Intelligent Cluster replaces IBM’s Cluster 1350 offering and now includes integrated support for IBM’s popular open-source management software for clusters; Extreme Cluster Administration Toolkit (xCAT). 

xCAT is already at work in high-profile supercomputer installations around the world – including the first system to smash the petaflop barrier.  xCAT can simplify the management of massive clusters for HPC or cloud workloads. Because it’s optimized for IBM hardware, xCAT offers special, remote management functions to users of Intelligent Cluster – alerting administrators of impending component failures, for example. The software allows users to easily deploy a mix of operating systems – including popular versions of Linux, Windows and VMware. Among the software’s advanced features is automatic “discovery,” which automatically brings up new servers in a cluster once they’re installed. 

"HPC customers need rapid customization and provisioning of their environment and the ability to reliably scale-up or scale-down rapidly depending on their workload,” said Srini Chari, analyst with Cabot Partners. “With xCAT and Intelligent Clusters, IBM is well-positioned to extend differentiation in the x86 HPC market and provide innovative solutions with greater energy-efficiency, increased ease of management and deployment, and more reliable operations particularly for large-scale environments.” 

IBM Adds Storage-Rich Server 

Additionally today, IBM announced the new System x3620 M3, a two-socket rack server with 16 terabytes of internal storage. Designed for businesses coping with ever-expanding storage needs, the x3620 is especially suited for enterprises facing the online data deluge – social networking, video-serving or online gaming. With many of the features and characteristics of IBM’s enterprise-class x86 servers, the x3620 M3 offers industry-leading processor performance and functionality while providing support for software RAID or advanced hardware RAID.

For more information on IBM System x, go to 

For more information on xCAT go to: 

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Without GPU

With GPU

No. of nodes/rack



Westmere cores/rack



Westmere core frequency

2.93 GHz

2.93 GHz

NVIDIA Tesla M2050s/rack






Single precision floating point operations/sec (peak)

23.6 Tera flops

(11.8 + 86.5) = 98.3Tera flops

Double precision floating point operations/sec (peak)

11.8 Tera flops

(5.9 + 43.3) = 49.2 Tera flops


328 watts

738 watts


27.55 Kw

30.99 Kw


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