RealTime IT News

IBM's Blue Gene Supercomputer is For Sale

Fresh off the revelation that its top supercomputer has shattered LinPack performance records, IBM Monday said it is offering its Blue Gene system for commercial businesses.

The latest BlueGene/L system topped the Top500 list by operating at 70.7 teraflops, or trillion floating points per second. The eServer Blue Gene peaks at 5.7 teraflops per single rack system. Customers may purchase 1 to 64 racks, with 1024 dual-processor nodes per rack, according to a statement.

The machines takes up less than one square meter in data centers, which, along with high-performance and low power consumption are important for customers seeking a competitive advantage without a cluttered server room. Starting price for the supercomputer is $1.5 million.

The arrival of eServer Blue Gene marks a departure for the Armonk, N.Y., company. Originally created to map protein folding, Blue Gene began as a research project five years ago and IBM has pumped more than $100 million research dollars into the system.

IBM has used various iterations of the powerful machine for nuclear arms testing, weather forecasting, astronomy and space research, with machines tailored for financial services forthcoming.

Previous BlueGene systems were prototypes used by scientists and researchers who required massive amounts of computing power to tackle mathematically complex issues. The next offer is for businesses looking for high performance computing in their data centers.

Meanwhile, IBM and fellow supercomputing heavyweights including SGI , Cray , HP , NEC and Sun Microsystems await the rankings report from the Top500 group, an influential group that tests various supercomputers for speed and availability.

The group will publish its findings Monday at 5 p.m. EDT.