IBM plans to deliver world's most powerful Linux supercomputer running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

July 30, 2003

New AMD Opteron processor-based eServer 325 systems to serve as foundation of Advanced Grid System for Life Sciences Research; Linux cluster to deliver more than 11 trillion calculations per second


IBM today announced that Japan's largest national research organization has ordered an IBM eServer Linux supercomputer that when completed will deliver more than 11 trillion calculations per second, making it the world's most powerful Linux-based supercomputer. It is expected to be more powerful than the current Linux cluster currently ranked as the third most powerful supercomputer in the world, according to the widely popular TOP500 List of Supercomputers [1].

The supercomputer is planned to be integrated with other non-Linux systems to form a massive, distributed computing Grid - enabling collaboration between corporations, academia and government - to support various research including grid technologies, life sciences bioinformatics and nanotechnology.

The system with a total of 2,636 processors will include 1,058 eServer 325 systems, which were introduced today with 2,116 AMD Opteron processors. [2] The powerful new supercomputer will help Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), well known worldwide for its leading research in Grid technologies, to accelerate research using grid technology in a wide variety of projects including the search for new materials to be used for super conductors and fuel cell batteries, and the search for new compounds that could be the basis for a cure for various malignant diseases.

The new IBM eServer 325 systems to be delivered to AIST each contain two powerful AMD Opteron processor in a 1U (1.75") rack mounted form factor. AIST will run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 on the supercomputer. The Grid will incorporate the Globus Toolkit 3.0 and the Open Grid Services Infrastructure, and is planned to link heterogeneous and geographically dispersed computing resources, including servers, storage and data, to allow researchers to collaborate through shared resources.

The New eServer 325

IBM's eServer 325 includes a choice of AMD Opteron processor Models 240, 242 or 246. Customers also have the option to either buy IBM eServer 325 systems or access them through IBM's deep computing on demand facility in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., paying for processing power based on the required capacity and duration of use.

Designed to run either Linux or Windows operating systems, the eServer 325 provides high performance computing customers with increased performance and a seamless transition for migrating from 32-to 64-bit server technology, a key to help protect existing software investments. Additionally, the eServer 325 can run both 32- and 64-bit applications simultaneously, providing customers with flexibility to effectively manage their business. The eServer 325 will also be part of IBM's Cluster 1350, providing customers with a complete cluster solution including a broad portfolio of clustering software in common with our cluster offerings on POWER and AIX.

"The eServer 325 powered by the Opteron processor offers strong performance and extended memory addressability while ensuring backward compatibility that preserves customers existing 32-bit software investments. Many high performance computing customers have expressed interest in acquiring this technology," said David Turek, vice president, IBM Deep Computing. "Our Deep Computing on Demand offering provides high performance computing customers the flexibility to purchase these new systems or access them on demand, only paying for the compute cycles used."

In addition to 32 to 64-bit compatibility, the eServer 325 offers compelling price performance -- a key benefit for customers engaged in demanding scientific and technical applications such as oil exploration and digital rendering. The new eServer 325 also offers increased floating point performance and improved memory addressability.

"The announcement of the IBM eServer 325 paired with the immediate demand from a renowned institution such as AIST shows that the market is hungry for the performance the AMD Opteron processor provides for both 32-bit and 64-bit computing," said Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit. "Whether it's the world's most powerful Linux-based supercomputer or a small company, customers want the most performance their dollars can purchase with fewer disruptions to their business."

"SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 gives scientific, research and enterprise customers the performance and flexibility they need to run their research while SUSE together with IBM -- take care of maintenance and support," said Juergen Geck, Chief Technology Officer, SUSE Linux. "This project sets the standard for 64bit Linux cluster systems."

IBM is also announcing today the intention to develop and deliver an Opteron based workstation next year.

Performance Measures

Using the eServer 325 IBM delivered world record performance for database clusters on a processor intensive decision support application performance measure. According to the Transaction Processing Performance Council's TPC-H benchmark, DB2 Universal Database, eight IBM eServer 325, with 64-bit AMD Opteron processors running the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 operating system, delivered 12214 QphH@100GB at a cost of $70 per QphH@100 GB. These results toppled an HP system running Oracle from the top cluster performance spot, delivering five times better price/performance and more than two times better overall performance [3].

DB2 Universal Database for AMD Opteron

IBM is also announcing today that DB2 Universal Database for Linux is the first commercial grade database generally available for the 64-bit AMD Opteron platforms, including the new IBM eServer 325. DB2 for the AMD Opteron processors provides customers with native access to DB2's 64-bit database environment, while providing compatibility with existing 32-bit applications.

The new eServer 325 starts at $2,919 and is expected to start shipping to customers later this quarter, with full availability on October 17.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and key Business Partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. For more information about IBM, visit

IBM, the e-business logo, e-Business on Demand, eServer, AIX and POWER are trademarks or registered trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

AMD Opteron is a trademark of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group. All other company/product names and service marks may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.


  1. AIST system is expected to deliver 11.168 Teraflops of theoretical peak performance (rPeak). Current most powerful Linux cluster is ranked number 3 on the Top500 List of Supercomputers with 11.06 teraflops of peak performance. See for full list.
  2. The eServer 325 systems with 2116 AMD processors are expected to deliver 8.464 Teraflops of processing power. The 520 Intel processors are expected to deliver 2.704 teraflops of processing power for a total of 11.168 teraflops.
  3. Results current as of 07/30/03. 8x 2way AMD Opteron 246 with IBM eServer 325 delivered 12216 QphH@100GB and $70/ QphH@100GB, configuration available 11/08/2003. 4x 4way 1000 MHz HP Alpha chip result was 5,578.40 QphH@100GB and $357.01 per QphH@100GB, available 7/15/02. Full results can be found at

About Novell
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