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Enterprise Linux Today: Linux-based IBM Supercomputer is DoD's First, for Micro-weather Forecasting

Feb 27, 2001, 17:13 (8 Talkback[s])

"In the wake of one of the most devastating forest fire seasons in history, IBM has announced that the U.S. government has purchased an IBM eServer supercomputer that will provide hyper-accurate weather data to help authorities battle the destructive blazes. The machine, which will also handle other important projects, is the first Linux-based supercomputer in the Department of Defense's (DoD) computing arsenal, indicating that the open-source operating system is making inroads into the world of mission-critical computing."

"The new IBM supercomputer can process 478 billion calculations per second -- 40 times faster than the IBM "Deep Blue" supercomputer that defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. ...one of the projects undertaken by the IBM eServer supercomputer will be the construction of high-resolution weather simulations and models. Unlike conventional weather outlooks, micro-forecasts are highly localized -- able to predict, for example, subtle variations in wind velocity and precipitation over distances as small as three kilometers."

"The government's system, located at the Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC), is a sophisticated computing cluster that harnesses the power of 256 IBM eServer x330 thin servers to achieve a peak speed of 478 billion calculations per second. The servers each contain two Pentium III processors and are linked together with special Myrinet clustering software and high speed networking hardware, enabling the separate computers to work together as unit. IBM eServer xSeries machines are affordable Intel-based servers with mainframe-inspired reliability technologies."

Press Release