Get the boost IBM Watson got from SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

The fastest supercomputers in the world use Linux. The IBM Watson supercomputer won in Jeopardy! relied on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

The IBM Watson system that competed in Jeopardy! was an artificial intelligence computer system capable of making cognitive decisions, answering questions posed in natural language, often pulling answers from unstructured data. The power behind Watson lay in IBM's DeepQA software running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on ten racks of IBM Power servers.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is one of the fastest operating systems on IBM Power Systems based on recent SPEC benchmarks. This made it a natural choice of operating system for IBM's DeepQA software that powers Watson.

The Power platform is known for its ability to meet high performance, high capacity and near linear scaling. Since 1993, SUSE engineers have made significant contributions to the advancement and tuning of the Linux kernel and key kernel-related performance technologies. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the clear choice for high performance computing systems, with features like:

  • Advanced memory management
  • New processor support
  • Unmatched performance on systems with multicore processors
  • Native POSIX Thread Library (NPTL)
  • Advanced multi-pathing and I/O capabilities

Why did IBM Watson need so much power and speed?

IBM Watson was developed to try to match the natural language processing abilities of the human brain (which, as IBM researchers point out, can fit inside a shoebox and is powered by a tuna sandwich). As a test of these abilities, they had Watson play Jeopardy! against the two best players in the world–Grand Champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings, and Watson won.

With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and IBM Power, you too can realize technological advances Watson so skillfully leveraged.

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