ServersServerWatch News Briefs for April 25, 2004

ServerWatch News Briefs for April 25, 2004

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This Week’s Swatches

This week: VMware said it will add 64-bit support to its virtual infrastructure software for x86-based systems; AMD signed on to the OSDL; and IBM inked major deal with General Motors to provide 145 p655 servers for auto development and virtual crash simulations.

VMware Boards the 64-Bit Bandwagon

VMware, an EMC company, announced it will add 64-bit support to it virtual infrastructure software for x86-based systems. It will support both AMD 64 and the Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology (Intel EM64T), when it becomes available.

VMware support for concurrent 32/64-bit computing will be introduced across the VMware product line during the next 18 months, beginning with experimental support for 64-bit host operating systems in a forthcoming update to Workstation 4.5, which is expected to be available this quarter.

With these extended capabilities, VMware is extending its virtualization capabilities to another industry-standard platform. VMware already offers an industry-standard multi-processor virtual machine (VMware Virtual SMP); a general-purpose, live virtual machine migration technology (VMware VMotion); and a microkernel-based platform for industry-standard servers specifically optimized for virtualization (VMware ESX Server), in addition to its base workstaion and server offerings (VMware Workstation and VMware GSX Server, respectively).

“By bringing virtualization to 64-bit extended platforms, VMware protects investments in operating system and applications software, as customers start to deploy next-generation server and desktop technologies,” said Ed Bugnion, chief architect for VMware. “These new VMware features will facilitate software migration to 64-bit platforms.”

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In what has turned out to be a banner week for AMD, the vendor also signed on as a member of the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), and as such will participate in OSDL Data Center Linux and Carrier Grade Linux working groups.

“With the rapid increase of Linux deployments on AMD technology, AMD will be significant contributors to OSDL’s continued success,” said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. “They will bring a wealth of experience with Linux solutions to our working group initiatives.”

The OSDL is a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the Linux adoption. Founded in 2000 and supported by a global consortium of Linux customers and IT industry leaders, the OSDL is a non-profit organization that provides Linux expertise and computing and test facilities in the United States and Japan available to developers around the world. Other OSDL members include Alcatel, Fujitsu, HP, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, NEC Corporation, Novell, Red Hat, Sun, Transmeta Corporation, and Wind River Systems.

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IBM Seals Supercomputing Deal with GM

IBM inked a major supercomputing contract with General Motors, agreeing to provide 145 p655 servers for the automaker to use in auto development and virtual crash simulations.

Total cost of the contract, valued in the millions of dollars, was not made public. The servers, which will run at nine teraflops, or trillions of calculations per second, will work in congress as a supercomputer and will perform tasks twice as fast as the previous IBM pSeries 690 systems GM hans bee using since 2002.

The package will include a combination of 8-way and 16-way machines, which will be powered by Power4+. GM will procure an additional p655 machines, which will be powered by POWER 5 chips later this year. The complete supercomputer will run AIX and use more than 2,000 processors total, with chip speeds of 1.7 gigahertz compared to the $1.5 GHz of previous pSeries used by GM.

The compute power delivered by the new machine is equivalent to doing one calculation per second on a calculator for more than
285,000 years, IBM officials said on a conference call.

The increased processing speed will significantly boost GM’s time-to-market in a highly competitive auto industry. Bob Cruz, executive director of vehicle integration for GM, said the high-performance computing contract with IBM will help the company roll out 29 new or redesigned vehicles (a new vehicle every 22 days).

This news brief was originally published as an article on internetnews. The full story is available here.

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