LINUXWORLD : IBM packages DB2 for Linux clusters

IBM Corp. claims it will enable DB2 database software users to build Linux clusters on IBM servers more quickly and cheaply than before with a new package of hardware and software, the company announced Monday.

“Customers are collecting more information than they know what to do with, and databases are growing,” said Jeff Jones, director of strategy for IBM’s data management solutions group. “This clustering package provides a building-block approach to allow customers to build large, multi-terabyte databases.”

Clusters allow users to grow computing resources without purchasing large, expensive servers, Jones said. Certain customers, such as life sciences companies, will always need powerful supercomputers, but many companies can benefit from clusters, he said. The DB2 for Linux Clustering package is targeted at the financial, retail, manufacturing, and public sector industries, he said.

Using SuSE Linux AG’s SuSE Linux 8 operating system, and existing DB2 software, customers can build clusters from two nodes to 1,000 nodes, Jones said. IBM will demonstrate a 40-node cluster built using the package at Linuxworld in New York this week.

Customers can add systems management tools from IBM’s Tivoli Software division and IBM’s WebSphere application management software, Jones said. The entire package has also been optimized for SAP AG’s applications, he said.

IBM’s x335 and x360 xSeries servers make up the hardware portion of the package. Infiniband, the high-speed interconnect technology, is used to connect the clusters.

Pricing for the package starts at US$10,000 for a two-node cluster with two x335 servers provided, Jones said. The price for larger clusters will vary based on customer needs, he said. It is available worldwide through IBM or the company’s resellers as of Monday, he said.

The package is designed for medium-to-large enterprises that have IT departments familiar with clustering packages, Jones said. IBM’s services arm will provide installation support for customers who want to build clusters, but don’t have IT proficiency in-house, he said.