IBM Pushing Clusters for Midmarket BusinessesBy Scott Ferguson | Posted 2007-02-28 Email Print
The company brings Windows to its HPC clusters, and announces a partnership with Microsoft, and plans to partner with ISVs to produce applications for life science and financial companies.IBM is looking to expand its high-performance computing product offerings with an eye toward gaining traction in the midmarket space.
The IT giant, based in Armonk, N.Y., is announcing on Feb. 28 several new software applications for its Cluster 1350 product line that are aimed at midmarket companies such as financial institutions, CAE firms and life science companies.
In addition, the company will announce on Feb. 28 a new partnership with Microsoft that will allow IBM to build its Cluster 1350 products using the Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 operating system.
Since it started offering HPC clusters, IBM has used open-source Linux technology. In going after midmarket businesses, the company wanted to offer additional flexibility in its cluster line to reach this specific group of customers, said Wendy McGee, the program director for the IBM Cluster Solutions division.
About 70 percent of clusters run Linux operating systems, McGee said, so IBM will continue to offer HPC solutions with open-source technology. However, the company also felt it needs to offer Windows, she said.
"We spent hours finding out what customers want," McGee said. "In most clusters, you are running Linux, but the midmarket needed some additional flexibility. We decided to use Windows to address the needs of the midmarket."