IBM opens European supercomputer on-demand center

To meet growing demand for supercomputing services, IBM opened a new high-capacity center in Europe on Friday -- its second such center and first outside the U.S.

The Deep Computing Capacity On Demand Center in Montpellier, France, joins IBM's initial center in Poughkeepsie, New York, the company said. The centers provide access, via the Internet, to a range of powerful, secure IBM supercomputers.

The Montpellier center will run on IBM eServer pSeries AIX or Linux servers and xSeries systems running Linux or Microsoft Corp.'s Windows with disk storage. IBM recently expanded the Poughkeepsie center to include more than 2,300 IBM xSeries Intel Xeon processor, eServer AMD Opteron processor and BladeCenter systems, it said.

IBM chose Montpellier because the company already has a huge mainframe and Unix computer center in the city, according to company spokesman Hans-Jugen Rehm. "We also have extensive consulting expertise there," he said.

Big Blue is targeting its supercomputer power-on-tap services at companies in industries with high data processing requirements, such as petroleum, life sciences, digital animation and financial services, it said.

One of the first to use the new Montpelier facility will be Mentor Graphics Corp. in Wilsonville, Oregon, IBM said. The hardware and software design company, which intends to benefit from the added supercomputing capacity in France, is currently testing its new Calibre design-to-silicon platform in the Poughkeepsie facility.

IBM said the new French supercomputer service center and the U.S. facility launched last year will enable customers to easily tap into massive amounts of supercomputing power to meet urgent business demands and pay for this capacity on a variable cost basis, avoiding large up-front capital outlays and long-term fixed IT costs.

IBM also plans to implement grid technologies to enable resource sharing within and across the two new supercomputing service centers, it said.

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