IBM moves Opterons into data centres

AMD Opterons have burrowed deeper into the data centre with an announcement by IBM that its eServer Cluster 1350 will now support its 64-bit Opteron-based LS20 blade. IBM announced the blade in April and it is due to ship very soon.

According to IBM, when combined with BladeCenter, the LS20 delivers compute density with outstanding processor performance and availability, making the LS20 suited to high-performance clustered applications.

Back in 2003, IBM was the first OEM to incorporate the Opteron — the first processor to run both 32- and 64-bit code — into its products. It reckoned that the significance of the move was that this provided its customers with enhanced node choices for high performance, memory-intensive applications as well as greater integration and compute density. It claimed that the Cluster 1350 offers the broadest range of cluster-based nodes and switches from major vendor.

Product Review

IBM’s blade system offers the highest rack-density in its class, and offers more on-site convenience such as a KVM, removeable drives, and LightPath diagnostics. Although the management software isn’t tops, the hardware is. Read review of IBM eServer BladeCenter HS20 and eServer BladeCenter

IBM said that the 1350 will also support IBM’s new dual core, Opteron-based eServer 326. Also new is the availability of eServer OpenPower 710 and 720 nodes as management and storage nodes for clusters using IBM eServer BladeCenter JS20 compute nodes. IBM explained this means Cluster 1350 users can now build systems that are entirely Power-based. IBM said it would continue to provide Intel, AMD and Power-based nodes in mix-and-match configurations.

A further announcement was an expansion of switch and interconnect options available for the Cluster 1350. It now supports the Voltaire InfiniBand Switch Router 9288, which Voltaire claimed is the industry’s largest InfiniBand switch, with up to 10Gbit/s of bandwidth. The 9288 provides high levels of performance and scalability for high performance computing clusters, allowing customers to pay as they grow.


“Today’s LS20 announcement further expands our portfolio of compute nodes and core components, enabling high performance customers to gain the advantages of leading-edge technologies to create a cluster that is optimized for their specific application environment without assuming the risk of testing, integrating, deploying and supporting their own clusters,” said Linux cluster product manager Bob Lenard. “The Cluster 1350 reduces complexity and the need for customers to maintain multiple service and support relationships.”

Applications for the Cluster 1350 include on-demand computing and it is, said IBM, used in a variety of industries including financial services, industrial, petroleum, financial services and life sciences.

Pricing and availability

The new updates to the IBM eServer Cluster 1350 are planned to be available in mid-July. Pricing will vary depending upon specific configuration and will be announced upon availability.

The AMD Opteron LS20 for IBM eServer BladeCenter is available to order today. Pricing starts at US$2,259 in the U.S.

Related links:

AMD pushes Opteron for embedded systems

IBM will mine Blue Gene technology for BladeCenter

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