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IBM Technical Computing

IBM Technical Computing Agenda: Accelerating time-to-value for a new generation of users
Organizations of all sizes are turning to technical computing for 3-D modeling, simulations and largescale data analytics with help from IBM
The time has come to unleash the transformational power of high-performance technical computing across the entire business spectrum. IBM has a new agenda—one that is dedicated to bringing the advantages of technical computing to companies that haven’t traditionally used it and may have thought it was beyond their reach. The time for change is now. IBM has led the TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers for many years, and was the first to cross the threshold into petascale computing. And for 19 years in a row, IBM has been the leader in patent grants. Now, with its years of providing innovative, high-end, high-performance computing (HPC) solutions, IBM is uniquely equipped to bring unsurpassed knowledge and experience to more organizations that can benefit from technical computing. Businesses should not need specialized expertise to benefit from technical computing. Unlike universities and research labs, most companies are not in the business of running HPC facilities. They must be free to focus on their own core business without giving up the advantages of high-performance systems. That is why the IBM Technical Computing Agenda is focused on organizations that need to perform modeling, simulation or large-scale data analytics, particularly those that can benefit from entry-level technical computing solutions.


Technical computing is no longer just about high-end supercomputers Businesses and organizations—in diverse industries, geographies and size—recognize they can exploit technical computing power for competitive gain IBM Technical Computing is at the forefront, helping companies match their compute requirements to the systems, software and support available to them

Overcoming traditional barriers
For a long time, entry into the HPC world was limited by barriers such as the high cost of equipment and the extensive expertise required for setup and management. Ensuring systems were fully utilized was also a challenge, with few organizations able to keep a high-performance system busy enough to justify the expense. Now those barriers are ready to fall, thanks to IBM investments and innovations.

IBM Technical Computing

Technical computing capabilities can be transformational for companies across a range of industries—but many organizations are not using them because they perceive these systems to be too expensive and difficult to use. Other enterprises may not realize how important technical computing can be to generate a competitive advantage in today’s world of real-time imaging and electronic prototyping. Many businesses could take advantage of more compute power than the workstations they are currently running, but they do not require a supercomputer. They may, however, need technical computing systems or clusters—often with just a few nodes—that deliver high performance yet are affordable and easy to manage.

relatively small technical computing cluster can produce the same or better results in hours that might take days or weeks using less-sophisticated computing equipment. Additionally, manufacturers can rapidly simulate production processes, including real-life conditions experienced on the shop floor, and use the results to optimize processes before products are actually manufactured. Such a level of technical computing power can perform work much more quickly and accurately than physical experimentation or using workstations. Companies that are able to leverage this technology and bring their products to market faster with higher quality and more attractive prices will benefit significantly. And so will their suppliers. With the proliferation of the highly integrated supply chain, smaller suppliers that participate in this technology transformation will also improve their bottom lines by better meeting their clients’ demands for quality, timeliness and specification rigor.

Recognizing a growing need
The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) estimates that 90 percent of all products soon will be developed virtually,¹ and many would benefit from technical computing capabilities. Predictive simulation of product designs on a


IBM Technical Computing

Powering the IBM Technical Computing Agenda
IBM has long been a leading supplier of supercomputers, and now IBM has broadened its portfolio with new products, solutions and services for customers with smaller-scale technical computing needs. Bolstered by strategic acquisitions and internal development, IBM is toppling traditional barriers to technical computing. For example:

IBM offers a family of market-leading, innovative x86 servers called IBM® System x®. These servers and blades are low in power consumption, easy to purchase and manage, and come in a broad range of sizes. Entry systems can fit comfortably into an office environment. If you’re looking for the ultimate energy-efficient scale-out server, look no further than the IBM System x iDataPlex®, or if you prefer a high-performance, integrated blade platform, the IBM Flex System™ will serve your needs well. Organizations can order a factory-integrated and optimized system with integrated storage, saving clients significant time to assemble and configure. IBM Platform Computing™ software makes it simple to set up and manage these systems, enabling companies without HPC management skill levels on staff to benefit from technical computing. Platform Computing provides a powerful, comprehensive suite of management capabilities with easy-to-use workload and resource management software, prepackaged scripts, integrated tools and a highly intuitive interface. With the IBM Intelligent Cluster™ offering, IBM is able to mask complexity while maintaining the required flexibility to optimize a cluster to a company’s needs. Core components, including high-performance IBM System x servers, storage and networking, as well as Platform Computing management software, have been pretested and configured, ensuring all of the hardware and software elements work well together. Developed with technical computing in mind, the IBM System Storage® DCS3700 delivers the capacity needed for high-performance environments—up to 120 TB—but packages it in a slim, 4U form factor. The DCS3700 Performance Module delivers twice the performance and scalability of the base DCS3700 storage system, and incorporates Dynamic Disk Pooling technology to significantly reduce maintenance through dynamic rebalancing should a drive failure occur.

IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS™) is an enterprisegrade parallel file system that can provide file-based data at scale for customers requiring high-performance, lowlatency access. GPFS provides an optimal and cost-effective approach to managing these files, so that data can be accessible at any time, wherever that data might reside. IBM Technical Computing solutions, such as those for HPC Cloud and big data, consist of integrated hardware, software, and services. They are based on IBM reference architectures and best practices, and are customized to meet client needs by providing high-performance, optimized solutions that are simple to deploy, manage and use.

Companies can rely on IBM as a single, expert supplier for the entire technical computing system including servers, software, storage and networking. IBM knows technical computing and HPC from decades of experience, and offers services, training and financing along with a large network of IBM Business Partners that are ready to assist.

Helping companies’ investments work harder
Organizations face limited resources, constrained budgets and competitive pressure. Their investments in technical computing must accelerate the time-to-value. To meet these expectations, companies must maximize the utilization of their technical computing resources while helping to ensure the shortest time-to-results. With cluster, workload and resource management software from IBM Platform Computing, companies can get more work out of their systems and keep utilization high. Platform Computing software helps businesses avoid the need to continually purchase new systems as demand increases. For example, banks and other financial firms must constantly assess their risk exposure to comply with current regulations, using complex analysis that requires greater compute resources. With software from Platform Computing, firms have been able to raise the utilization rates of their servers—in some cases up to 100 percent—as well as optimize application throughput, helping to reduce compute times, free up capacity and save money.


In fact, Platform Computing management software, including IBM Platform LSF®, IBM Platform HPC and IBM Platform Symphony, is able to boost utilization rates by enabling clusters to perform more than one mission at a time. Logic built into the solution allows the borrowing and lending of shared-server “slots” required by different applications— a process that orchestrates resources to support mixed workloads. This capability to dynamically and intelligently manage resources can help companies save time and money, and improve user productivity.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America October 2012 IBM, the IBM logo,, Flex System, GPFS, iDataPlex, Intelligent Cluster, LSF, Platform Computing and System x are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.

Closing the gap between need and reality
Technical computing is no longer just about high-end supercomputers. The kind of computing power that was once used predominantly by government agencies and universities is driving revolutionary advances across a wide range of organizations. Businesses in industries as diverse as financial services, life sciences, the automotive supply chain, energy and utilities, consumer electronics and even retailing recognize that they can exploit technical computing power to stay competitive. IBM Technical Computing is at the forefront, helping companies match their compute requirements to the systems, software and support available to them.

For more information
To learn more about IBM’s efforts to put technical computing within reach of more businesses, see your IBM representative or visit:

“Revitalizing Manufacturing: Transforming the Way America Builds,” National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, April, 2012. Please Recycle