Staples buys IBM supercomputer for data warehouse

Office-supply vendor Staples Inc. has joined the growing list of companies turning to supercomputers to handle integration and management of large databases with the purchase of an IBM Corp. SP machine for a new corporate data warehouse.

Staples intends to use the computer first in its merchandising department and then will extend it to the supply chain, inventory management and marketing. The supercomputer runs IBM's DB2 Universal Database Enterprise Extended Edition and has 4T bytes of storage space available on an IBM SSA disk.

The SP supercomputer can scale to 512 nodes.

Supercomputers, which cost anywhere from US$250,000 to millions of dollars, have become increasingly attractive to companies that deal with large, disparate databases, said Barbara Butler, IBM product manager for supercomputers. IBM has sold supercomputers for such use to financial services companies, insurance vendors, telecommunications carriers and retailers, she said.

IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-765-1900 or Staples, in Framingham, Massachusetts, can be reached at +1-508-253-5000 or

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