June launch puts the spotlight on advances in technical computing

New IBM solutions speed deployment, reduce costs and accelerate time-to-results

Email the article  Download the pdf

TC-Insights-TCO Tool Most technical and high-performance computing (HPC) involves vast amounts of data and compute-intensive calculations. Companies need high application throughput for fast time-to-results, and flexible ways of managing workloads to help keep productivity high, resource utilization maximized and costs down.

Achieving these goals just became easier with the June launch of powerful new IBM Technical Computing solutions—including new IBM Application Ready Solutions and accompanying reference architectures, big data solutions that accelerate results, the IBM® Blue Gene®/Q Express supercomputer, scale-out IBM Power Systems™ integrated with IBM Platform Computing™ software, new systems and networking for IBM Intelligent Cluster™, and IBM Smarter Storage for technical computing.

For organizations that want to speed deployment with highly optimized cluster solutions, IBM has worked with industry-leading independent software vendors (ISVs) to create a series of IBM Application Ready Solutions for Technical Computing. Designed to take the guesswork and complexity out of deploying and managing high-performance clusters and clouds, these solutions are optimized for performance and cost-efficiencies. Based on reference architectures and integrating IBM Platform Computing management software, these systems help reduce risk and improve time-to-value.

For example, companies can quickly deploy a cloud environment with 3–D remote visualization using the IBM Application Ready Solution for ANSYS ®.¹ Pre-integrated ANSYS application templates reduce setup time and simplify job submission so engineers can become productive quickly, easily sharing files with colleagues. IBM announced five different application environments for accelerated results with these leading ISVs in the following industries: Accelrys® (life sciences), ANSYS (automotive, aerospace, electronics and petroleum), CLC bio (life sciences), Gaussian (computational chemistry) and Schlumberger (petroleum), in addition to a cross-industry solution.

With complete, integrated Application Ready Solutions, organizations benefit from a high-performance environment that is easy to procure, deploy, use and support. Application Ready Solution reference architectures are based on IBM Flex System™ with x86 or IBM Power® compute nodes, IBM System x® and IBM System Storage®. IBM Platform Computing and IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS™) provide integrated workload and resource management. Organizations also benefit from solution-level support with one number to call for all IBM hardware and software components².

Big data analytics was front and center at the launch, with new and enhanced solutions designed to achieve faster time-to-insight. Organizations will benefit from the enhanced IBM System x Reference Architecture for Hadoop: IBM InfoSphere® BigInsights™ when in need of a big data Hadoop environment balanced for cost and performance. Featuring System x compute nodes, the latest level of BigInsights, enhanced support for provisioning, management and monitoring with better I/O performance and increased storage capacity, this solution also provides a high-performance environment that is easy to deploy and manage.

New optimizations with GPFS, the number-one commercial parallel file system,³ provides fast, reliable access to data. The powerful, low-latency scheduler included in IBM Platform™ Symphony further accelerates big data Hadoop environments, providing up to nine times faster results than standard Apache Hadoop environments that use the default scheduler⁴.

On the storage front, the breakthrough IBM System x GPFS Storage Server has eliminated the need for hardware storage controllers, which enables organizations to scale near-linearly, and deliver high performance while dramatically reducing high-end storage costs. The new IBM Smarter Storage for Technical Computing portfolio is designed to meet the needs of any size implementation with storage, tape, flash and management offerings optimized for performance, price and capacity for all storage tiers—active or at rest.

For organizations with demanding computational or data management needs, the new IBM Power 730 and IBM PowerLinux™ 7R2 Technical Computing solutions are ideal for processing and analyzing jobs that can take advantage of high-performance clusters for parallel computing. The platform provides exceptional performance and scale along with the well-known resiliency, availability and security of Power technology. In addition, support for IBM Platform LSF®, Platform Symphony and Platform Cluster Manager has now been extended to Power solutions. This IBM Platform Computing software helps organizations make the most of their cluster, grid and cloud environments, ensuring resources are efficiently utilized and workloads deployed for fastest time to results.

Enhanced IBM Intelligent Cluster systems provide pre-integrated, pretested systems and are the foundation for GPFS Storage Server and IBM Application Ready Solutions. Now supporting IBM Flex System x86 nodes, IBM FlashSystem™, IBM Storwize® V3700, new third-party switches and storage to help reduce implementation risks and speed time to solution delivery.

A growing number of organizations with computationally intensive workloads need the faster time-to-results and improved imaging resolution of a true supercomputer like IBM Blue Gene®, but have power, floor space and cost constraints to consider. Blue Gene/Q Express offers customers an entry-level supercomputer designed to overcome these barriers. The solution includes a half-rack Blue Gene/Q system, an IBM Research porting workshop and attractive IBM Global Financing. The low power requirements and small footprint of the system help reduce the total cost of ownership, while high reliability minimizes overall maintenance costs. With Blue Gene/Q Express, world-class supercomputing has never been more easily within reach.

As data volumes grow and applications require more compute power, clients of all sizes need to transform their infrastructure to meet demand. The historical advance of technical computing capabilities continues to make this transformation possible. The newly announced IBM Technical Computing products and solutions are optimized for compute and data-intensive workloads, simplified for easy adoption, and designed to ease management of an agile, high-performance environment.

To learn more, visit: ibm.com/technicalcomputing

¹Required third-party remote visualization software available from IBM business partners

²ISV applications and application support available for purchase from IBM business partners

³Source: Intersect360 Research, HPC User Site Census, 2013

⁴Source: Audited Symphony results