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Roundup: IBM, NetApp, SGI

IBM testing 50-kilowatt solar array optimized for data centers, NetApp announces SPEC benchmark results, SGI selected for HPC system at university in Japan.

Here’s our review of noteworthy news in the data center industry:

IBM introduces Solar designed for the Data Center.  IBM announced that it is rolling out a solar power array designed specifically to run high-voltage data centers, integrating AC and DC-based servers, water-cooled computing systems and related electronics. A 6,000 square foot rooftop houses the array at IBM's India Software Lab in Bangalore. The solar array is capable of providing a 50 kilowatt supply of electricity for up to 330 days a year, for an average of five hours a day. "The technology behind solar power has been around for many years, but until now, no one has engineered it for efficient use in IT," said Rod Adkins, senior vice president, IBM Systems & Technology Group. "We’ve designed a solar solution to bring a new source of clean, reliable and efficient power to energy-intensive, industrial-scale electronics." IBM plans for the Bangalore solar-power system to connect directly into the data center’s water-cooling and high-voltage DC systems. IBM also recently announced that in collaboration with scientists at ABB, the world's largest builder of electricity grids, they are using supercomputers to study and potentially develop a new type of high-voltage insulator that will improve the efficiency of transmitting electricity.

NetApp sets SPECsfs2008 NFS world record.  NetApp (NTAP) announced six high-performing SPECsfs2008 NFS benchmark results, including a world record. The SPEC (Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation) standard SPECsfs2008 measures file server throughput and response time. NetApp scalable storage architecture achieves world-record NFS performance for demanding NAS workloads with 1,512,784 ops per second and an overall response time of 1.53 milliseconds. Benchmarks were achieved using NetApp FAS6200 series, running on the Data ONTAP 8 operating system. “Companies today require IT that helps grow their business by providing support for enterprise business applications, big data, and cloud computing," said Chris Cummings, vice president of Product and Solutions Marketing at NetApp. "These SPEC benchmark results validate that NetApp can provide companies with a high-performance storage infrastructure for their demanding business-critical workloads that require always-on availability. Additionally, NetApp delivers on-demand flexibility to start with a small storage solution and easily, nondisruptively scale as their demand grows."

SGI selected in Japan for 32.6 Teraflops HPC system.  SGI announced today that the Institute for Chemical Research at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan, has selected an SGI high performance computing (HPC) and storage system to advance genomics research at the Institute. Once operational the HPC system is expected to be 32.6 teraflops, using SGI UV 1000 systems and will deliver up to 6.6x performance increase over the previous system. The new system will consist of more than 3072 cores of Intel Xeon processor E7 series, 48 Terabytes of total memory and 840 Terabytes of total storage. "Researchers at the world's leading scientific, academic, government and commercial laboratories are using SGI computers to achieve important advances in science, medicine, and genomics," said Ryutaro Ishimoto, president of SGI Japan. "Kyoto University and the Institute for Chemical Research are among the most respected institutions of advanced research and higher learning in the world. The results of their genomics research will lead to exciting new learning and discoveries that will impact scientific communities around the world for years to come."

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