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IBM to offer incentives to companies embracing cloud for high-performance computing

Tue 29 Jul 2014

IBM has announced its aim to disrupt the supercomputing market by introducing enticements for companies who are looking to move their high-performance workloads to the cloud. The current incentive on offer comes in the form of a super-fast network communications link named InfiniBand.

InfiniBand is a high-performance technology which delivers transfer speeds of up to 56Gbps between nodes, equivalent to transferring 30,000 Blu-ray discs in one day. IBM plan to offer InfiniBand as an option to customers of its SoftLayer servers.

“Companies are embracing cloud for standard workloads, but they are also looking to move their high-performance workloads to the cloud, or looking to augment capacity they have in-house,” said Marc Jones, IBM SoftLayer vice president of product innovation. “A lot of these companies will have workloads that are extremely demanding of performance.”

Jones believes that providing InfiniBand as a supercomputing solution will encourage more companies to adopt cloud strategies. He argues that InfiniBand is ideal for larger jobs requiring high numbers of server, due to its capability to provide high rates of data throughput and low rates of latency.

As InfiniBand is able to transport more than the 40Gbps that industry-standard Gigabyte Ethernet links can offer, the technology will give IBM cloud services a competitive advantage for companies looking to conduct supercomputing tasks. It is particularly suitable for those jobs in finance, engineering and electronics which demand high-performance computing (HPC), and struggle with constant backlogs of tasks.

InfiniBand cloud computing could therefore provide a cost-effective alternative to purchasing and maintaining a supercomputer, and eradicate the need to hold a computing task in a queue for weeks on end, Jones added.

Pricing for the InfiniBand option has not yet been settled, however Jones said it will be a paid option on SoftLayer’s service, which is charged monthly.



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