Linux Clusters Are Gaining Popularity As The Choice IT Infrastructure

For Computing Systems for Research Purposes in Universities and Research Centers

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Seoul, Korea - 04 Nov 2004:

IBM Korea has announced that it had recently signed an agreement with Seoul National University (SNU) to set up Linux-based cluster supercomputing system at the university.

This SNU project is another success story for IBM's Linux cluster systems, after the earlier installations at KIST and KISTI where IBM introduced the same Linux-based cluster supercomputing systems. In addition, this trend also represents a Linux boom in the academic and research circles.

SNU has driven this project as part of its plan to become one of the top 10 universities in the world. This project is intended to provide the high performance computing platform needed to support the expansion of its research capabilities and sharpening its competitiveness in the academic research area. The new supercomputer will be utilized as the foundation infrastructure for academic research projects.

IBM Korea deployed a Linux-based 425-node IBM eServer BladeCenter JS20 as the supercomputing platform and a FAStT700 for data storage. The entire system will have a maximum capability of 5 teraflops calculations per second. The IBM eServer BladeCenter JS20 employed for the project is the first blade server mounted with IBM's high performance PowerPC processor that is ideal for high performance computing clusters as well as back-end workloads and mission critical applications built for 64-bit computing. IBM Global Services provided the installation and grid collaboration services.

SNU hopes that the new supercomputer will help strengthen its foundation for research work in the high tech areas and through this advanced IT infrastructure, it will sharpen position as a leading institution for higher education and research in the world. SNU and IBM Korea revealed that they would work together more closely in the development of Grid computing and converting SNU into an On Demand campus.

Dong-Taek Kim, Manager of Central IT department at SNU said, "The supercomputer will enable us to map out the IT path of the University. In terms of computing resources, we will be able to maintain our position as a top University in Asia and extend our status in the world. We are happy that our research and development infrastructure is expanded so successfully using this Linux-based cluster system."

Linux trend in Supercomputing in Korea
In 2003, KIST set up a 512-node supercomputer based on IBM Linux cluster package (e1350) and KISTI installed a 280-node supercomputer based on an IBM Linux cluster. These installations signal that Linux cluster is gaining acceptance as a high performance computing infrastructure in the academic arena. The IBM Linux-based supercomputing clusters at KIST and KISTI show computational performance that rank within 200 in the TOP500 List of supercomputers in the world as of June 2004. According to the most recent TOP500 Supercomputer List(June 2004), IBM was the leader with 44.80 percent of the systems and 50.12 percent of installed performance.

Sang-Ho Lee, Strategic Growth Initiative Team Manager, IBM Korea, said, "Linux-based systems clustering is already a mainstream platform in the universities and research centers. This trend will expand into the enterprise R&D market. We can expect that Linux clusters will strengthen its presence in the academic and deep research areas that require a massive computational power and calculation speed."

Industry analysts forecast that Linux clusters will explode in demand as more and more major projects testify to its reliability. In particular, its scope of utility which has been limited to research purposes is likely to spread rapidly into commercial areas. Beside its excellent cost-effectiveness, Linux clusters are known to have such advantages that allows organizations to establish a "future-ready" system, i.e a system capable of both a scale-up and a scale-out configurations for future expansion.


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