IBM Technology to Power NOAA’s Weather and Climate Supercomputers, with Greater Reliability and Processing Power

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Armonk, NY - 07 Mar 2012: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that its new high-performance computing technology and services will power the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) operational weather and climate supercomputers to support fast, reliable weather forecasts. During a competitive bid process, IBM was awarded the $502M federal contract (inclusive of options) that continues the 10-year relationship between IBM and NOAA until 2016 and optionally through 2021.

In addition to high-performance computing technology, IBM will provide managed services including a primary and a back-up data center, application support, systems administration and program management.

The new system will bolster NOAA’s ability to provide weather, climate, ocean and space weather information with increased accuracy and shorter lead times.

NOAA will use the system for weather and climate modeling, which involves managing, analyzing and visualizing vast amounts of data. The accuracy of daily weather forecasts, as well as warnings of severe weather such as tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms and snowstorms, depends on the performance of these supercomputers.

IBM’s proposed system architecture for the initial phase of the Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System incorporates the newest IBM iDataPlex servers augmented by high-capacity IBM disk storage. In addition, IBM's General Parallel File System, an advanced file system for high performance computing clusters, will provide high-speed file access to data-intensive applications. The system will be configured with ‘hot spares’ to meet the customer’s exceptionally high system availability requirements.

“IBM has provided dependable and scalable high performance computing capabilities over the last ten years and NOAA looks forward to the continuing partnership to provide the systems needed for improved decision support services in building a Weather Ready Nation,” said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

“Most of us make daily decisions based on weather forecasts and we are increasingly aware of the impact that severe weather can have on our planet, the economy and public safety,” said Todd Ramsey, general manager, U.S. Federal, IBM. “IBM’s supercomputing technology helps NOAA make better predictions, which translate into better preparedness.”

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