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One Datacenter, One View, Says IBM

IBM released Systems Director 6.1 today, an upgrade to its intelligent dashboard for managing and monitoring the energy consumption, virtualization, and general operations of systems and storage devices in a datacenter.

Version 6.1 of Systems Director is really a new release of the product, not a point release, something Pete McCaffrey, director of enterprise systems strategy at IBM found amusing. He said the company spent nearly two years working with 200 customers to improve Systems Director's integration with Tivoli systems management software and to integrate it with IBM hardware as well.

"What Systems Director represents is a complete redesign of the platform management offering, from the user interface to how we pass data into these other areas," he told InternetNews.com.

[Customers] are spending more on server/storage management than on the products themselves. As storage grows, they are worried about maintaining the hardware, they have to managed and deploy their provisioning environment and now have to deal with energy issues," he added

The combination of Systems Director and Tivoli puts systems management into one application, with a browser-based User Interface to manage System z mainframes, Power-based systems, BladeCenter, and System x servers, as well as IBM's System Storage Platform.

Systems Director's analysis tools will not only maintain the servers but over time are expected to learn the layout of a datacenter and its usage patterns. This is to help it predict energy usage, find hot spots, and gather statistics to do energy planning.

Systems Director 6.1 is scheduled to ship in the fourth quarter. It will be made available with IBM hardware products.

Houston, we have teraflops

Separately, IBM and NASA announced a significant boost to "Discover," a Xeon-powered cluster at the NASA Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

Currently, Discover is a 25 teraflop system but with the addition of IBM iDataPlex cluster-style supercomputers with 1,024 quad-core Xeons, Discover will be bumped to a total of 67 teraflops of performance.

The new system will be used to simulate and better understand Earth's climate and weather, the planet's relationship with the sun, and the evolution of cosmic phenomena. It be used to develop methods to analyze the rapidly increasing amount of data the agency collects from Earth- and space-observing satellites.

"By nearly tripling Discover's performance, NASA scientists will be able to run models with higher resolution and greater fidelity to the underlying physical phenomena," said Dr. Phil Webster, NCCS Project Manager and Chief of the Computational and Information Sciences and Technology Office at Goddard Space Flight Center in a statement.

The iDataPlex, launched this past April, is an all-new IBM server designed as a stand-alone high-performance compute cluster, which can add supercomputer capabilities to existing data centers. It was developed as part of IBM's "Big Green" initiative, iDataPlex uses liquid cooling techniques so that air condition is not required. IBM claims a single iDataPlex 1U server packs five times the compute power of a typical server while consuming 40 percent less power.