RealTime IT News

Grid Group Schooled on IBM Servers

IBM  today said it has inked a three-year computing contract with SURAgrid, an initiative that 27 universities in the U.S. have undertaken to conduct scientific research experiments.

In the deal, Big Blue will provide System p575 Unix servers to members of the SURAgrid, which connects various computers at universities.

SURAgrid researchers test human genome sequencing and coastal storm modeling, among other things.

One specific project studies hurricane patterns via the SURA Coastal Ocean Observing and Prediction program (SCOOP), funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

Each p575 system is powered by 16 1.9 gigahertz Power5+ processors. With IBM's AIX as the operating platform, the machines run middleware from grid group Globus.org to ensure that the different machines work together.

IBM said in a statement the machines could increase SURAgrid's compute capacity to 10 trillion floating points per second (teraflops) .

SURAgrid members Louisiana State University and Georgia State University have already deployed p575 machines. IBM has additional systems planned for Texas A&M University for this fall.

Other universities participating in SURAgrid include University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Arkansas and University of Virginia.

For SURAgrid, tapping a systems vendor of IBM's pedigree is a no-brainer.

IBM knows a thing or two about supercomputers and associated technologies.

It's Blue/Gene L supercomputer recently eclipsed its own speed record at 207.3 teraflops.