Enhanced technical computing portfolio raises the bar

Expanded capabilities and new IBM innovations help meet the performance demands of today’s environments

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TC-Insights-TCO ToolAs more complex calculations and growing data volumes require more computing power, organizations of all sizes need to transform their infrastructure and data management to meet demand. Updates to the IBM Technical Computing portfolio are designed to enable this transformation and provide businesses with important competitive advantages. Leading the way is the new codename Elastic Storage offering from IBM, based on IBM® General Parallel File System (GPFS™) technology, the scalable, high-performance data and file management solution. Key innovations also include new big data IBM POWER8™ processors and systems, native GPU/accelerator support for IBM NeXtScale System™, IBM Intelligent Cluster™ 14A, new IBM Application Ready Solutions and IBM Platform Computing™ Cloud Service.

Elastic Storage V4.1 from IBM addresses the growing cost of managing ever-growing amounts of data by providing simplified data management and integrated information lifecycle tools capable of managing petabytes of data and billions of files. The software is ideally suited for the most data-intensive technical computing applications, which require high-speed access to massive volumes of information—from seismic data processing, risk management and financial analysis, weather modeling and scientific research, to determining the next best action in real-time retail situations. It enables organizations to exploit, not just manage, the exploding growth of data. Building on GPFS technology, Elastic Storage has been designed to deliver benefits around several core areas:
  • Security: Advanced encryption protects against data theft and helps organizations comply with regulations, such as HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley
  • Performance: Server-side flash caches speed I/O performance up to six times compared to standard SAS disks and reduce overall load on the network1
  • Cost-efficiency: Frequently accessed data or data that requires the highest levels of performance can be stored on high-speed flash systems, while infrequently used data can be automatically moved to tape, providing cost savings of up to 90 percent2
  • Usability: Automated, policy-driven storage management reduces storage costs and drives operational efficiencies

Results from large data queries are often of little use unless they are delivered immediately upon demand. To meet these requirements, IBM has expanded its big data analytics offering to include new IBM Power Systems™ based on innovative POWER8 processors. New big data analytics solutions on IBM Power® help businesses gain faster time-to-insights with scalable, powerful offerings. The combination of IBM InfoSphere® BigInsights™ software to analyze data-at-rest and InfoSphere Streams software to analyze data-in-motion provides the most robust set of analytic capabilities for big data—bringing analytics to the data rather than the other way around.

The latest version of IBM NeXtScale System nx360 M4 offers an innovative approach to maximize usable density with a new 1U tall PCI Native eXpansion (NeX) tray, which supports the latest NVIDIA GPUs and Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors. The change to NeX architecture enables seamless upgrades of the base unit to add storage, graphics accelerators or coprocessors all within the same node and chassis, providing extreme scalability and flexibility at affordable price points.

Featuring industry-leading IBM System x® servers, storage, software and third-party components, the IBM Intelligent Cluster 14A release offers improved performance, expanded server, storage and networking choices and the latest Intel processors. Designed to deliver extraordinary performance for big data, analytics, cloud computing, database and enterprise resource planning (ERP) workloads, server choices added to the Intelligent Cluster portfolio include NeXtScale System, System x3650 M4, System x3650 M4 BD, System x3850 X6 and System x3750 M4, along with the IBM Flex System® x880 X6 compute nodes and the latest System x GPFS Storage Server models.

Today’s organizations need to perform a larger number and variety of functions without increasing budgets. Enhancements to IBM Application Ready Solutions are designed to help reduce the costs and complexity of implementing and managing high-performance clusters, grids and clouds in a range of industries. IBM has created a new risk management solution to support an optimized IBM Algo One® environment, and has also enhanced its reference architectures for its Accelrys, CLC bio and Schlumberger solutions to support Flex System x240 with the latest Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors. Engineering Analysis solutions for Abaqus, ANSYS and MSC Software now support the latest NVIDIA GPUs, NeXtScale Systems and Elastic Storage.

The size and compute-intensive nature of technical computing workloads has historically meant these workloads were not suitable for cloud-based infrastructure. IBM Platform Computing Cloud Service in the SoftLayer® cloud from IBM is helping to change that paradigm, enabling businesses to deploy hybrid cloud environments optimized for analytics and high-performance applications.

Dedicated, ready-to-run IBM Platform™ LSF® and Platform Symphony clusters facilitate seamless job management within the SoftLayer cloud or between on-premises resources and the SoftLayer cloud. As a result, businesses are able to:
  • Add additional capacity in hours instead of months
  • Enhance security through physical isolation
  • Reduce administrative burdens with access to technical computing expertise as needed
  • Provide a transparent user experience and easy application deployment

For IBM OpenStack clouds, the updated IBM Platform Resource Scheduler V2.2 increases utilization and improves service levels with policy-based automation. The new version includes support for Icehouse, the latest open source OpenStack software release, as well as extended hypervisor support, including VMware, PowerKVM and PowerVC. Meanwhile, IBM Platform RTM for IBM Power V9.1.2 now includes support for Linux on Power systems. This provides businesses with comprehensive monitoring, reporting and management of Platform LSF environments to increase productivity and reduce costs.

These new IBM innovations are helping organizations across a range of industries transform their computing infrastructures for greater efficiency and increased time-to-value. Designed to handle applications ranging from technical computing and grid deployments to analytical workloads, these powerful solutions help drive business agility by providing rapid deployment, simplified management and easy scalability.

Learn more at ibm.com/technicalcomputing

1IOP performance comparison of 320-GB read-intensive workload. Results show reading data from 10K RPM SAS drives performs at ~5000 IOPs vs ~32,000 IOPs for 48 x 300-GB 10K SAS drives with GPFS Flash Cache (16 GB data cache using 2 x SSD drives).

2IBM analysis based on a list price comparison of a 1 PB IBM System Storage® TS3500 Tape Library, 1 GPFS license and 1 LTFS EE license, compared to the cost of IBM System Storage DS5100, including annual maintenance.