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Dell details new Linux-on-Itanium 2 server

Michael S. Mimoso, Editorial Director

This week's release of the TOP500 supercomputing list illustrates the breadth to which Linux is present in compute-intensive environments. A Linux cluster built for the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in the United States ranked No. 3 on the list, for example.

Linux on Intel is a fine fit for high-performance computing clusters because it is built on standards-based technology and because of the cost effectiveness.

Dell, the market leader of Intel-based Linux clusters (43.9% market share according to Framingham, Ma.-based International Data Corp.) announced today a new PowerEdge server that supports Linux and targets high-end computing requirements like advanced graphical rendering in movie special effects, financial modeling and genomic research.

The PowerEdge 3250 server is a 64-bit system with dual Itanium-2 processors and can be configured in 8-, 16-, 32-, 64- and 128-node clusters running 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition. The server offers a maximum memory of 16GB, up to 292 GB of internal storage and includes embedded systems management capabilities.

Pricing and release dates were not provided.

Enterprises, however, are waiting for independent software vendors to develop more mission-critical applications for Itanium 2.

"We believe the demand for HPCC in the enterprise will continue to grow," said Dell product manager Darrel Ward. "We expect more standardization as more applications

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become available and more stable. We believe this is the way to build out a data center going forward.

High performance computing clusters, meanwhile, have made aggressive leaps onto the supercomputing list.

"This list has long been a good reflection of trends in the industry," said Ward. "There are 30 new clusters on the list and the number of Intel clusters doubled. Intel now owns one-quarter of the clusters on the list. [Dell has 15 in the top 50.]"

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