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(E) IBM To Build Supercomputer Croatia involved
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  02/23/2002 | Business | Unrated
(E) IBM To Build Supercomputer Croatia involved
 
IBM To Build World's Most Powerful Weather SupercomputerSite Map - 
 
Friday December 21, 7:00 am Eastern Time 
Press Release 
SOURCE: IBM Corporation 
IBM To Build World's Most Powerful Weather Supercomputer 
``Blue Storm'' Computing And Storage Infrastructure To Significantly Improve 
Forecasts 
 
ARMONK, NY--(INTERNET WIRE)--Dec 21, 2001-- IBM announced today that it has been 
selected by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) to 
build the world's most powerful supercomputer and storage network for weather 
prediction, enabling meteorologists to offer new and much improved forecasts. 
Dubbed "Blue Storm," the IBM eServer p690-based system will provide the European 
National Weather Services with advanced weather information that will enhance 
activities ranging from the early warning of severe storms and floods to the 
optimal routing of ships at sea to the planning of family picnics. 
IBM will supply ECMWF with a computing infrastructure including a supercomputer 
that is projected to be about five times more powerful than ECMWF's current 
systems, together with a data storage network of IBM storage servers and tape 
systems as well as software that speeds the flow of data to and from the 
supercomputer's thousands of microprocessors. 
ECMWF's researchers will access Blue Storm via IBM IntelliStation workstations 
running Linux, while researchers throughout Europe will access the system over a 
wide-area network. 
"Today's highly sophisticated numerical models of the world's atmosphere and 
oceans require the most powerful supercomputing resources," says Dr. David 
Burridge, director of ECMWF. "In addition to supplying unmatched technology, we 
are confident that IBM will be a trusted partner with the skills and experience 
to help us overcome many of the challenges we face in predicting the global 
weather." 
According to Dr. Burridge, Blue Storm will provide ECMWF with the unprecedented 
level of computational power needed to make major advances in three strategic 
areas: 
- Exploitation of the wealth of information that will be provided 
      by an enhanced network of satellite observation systems. Blue 
      Storm will help scientists more accurately determine the 
      initial state of the atmosphere and oceans, thus significantly 
      improving the Centre's forecasts. 
       
    - Representation of heating and cooling, cloud formation and 
      dissipation, rain, snow and other processes in the Centre's 
      model of the global atmosphere; the model has 21 million grid 
      points distributed throughout the atmosphere between the 
      surface and a height of 65 km. 
       
    - Improvements of the techniques developed by the Centre, and 
      based on chaos theory, to estimate the uncertainty in the 
      forecasts and the probabilities of alternative developments 
      over the coming week, month and season. Improved advance 
      warning of severe weather events anywhere on the globe is a 
      specific aim of ECMWF's strategy. 
 
"ECMWF is renowned for developing new techniques that advance the science of 
meteorology," said Val Rahmani, general manager, IBM eServer pSeries, IBM Server 
Group. "By pushing the boundaries of supercomputing power, IBM supplies the 
organization's scientists with the tools to realize some of their most ambitious 
goals." 
IBM will provide ECMWF with: 
- An IBM eServer [1] Cluster 1600 supercomputer built with 
      multiple IBM eServer p690 enterprise UNIX [2] servers. In 2002, 
      IBM will deliver a system capable of achieving seven teraflops, 
      or seven trillions of calculations per second. The 
      supercomputer will be expanded in stages and, when fully 
      installed in 2004, will achieve over 20 teraflops. 
        
    - IBM TotalStorage products, including: FAStT500 storage servers, 
      SAN fabric and IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Tape Drive 3590 
      systems to store observational meteorological and oceanographic 
      data and forecast results. 
       
    - The High Performance Storage System (HPSS), advanced software 
      for data management in technical computing environments. HPSS 
      was developed in association with the world's most advanced 
      supercomputing sites, including Lawrence Livermore National 
      Laboratory, home of IBM's ASCI White, to provide a data stream 
      fast enough to match the processing speed of very large 
      supercomputers. HPSS is designed to move large data objects 
      across networks at high speed between supercomputers, disks, 
      and tape libraries. 
 
ECMWF's weather forecasts are essential to many business activities, such as 
routing oil tankers and cargo ships at sea, as well as demand planning for 
electric utilities and manufacturers. The organization supplies meteorological 
information to national weather services, which issue warnings, present daily 
television weather forecasts throughout Europe, and provide specialized services 
to their many commercial and governmental users. 
Today's announcement highlights a powerful trend towards the use of IBM 
supercomputers and storage systems to predict weather and climate changes. IBM 
technology has recently been selected by the National Centers for Environmental 
Prediction, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Naval 
Oceanographic Office, the National Climactic Data Center, Germany's Deutscher 
Wetterdienst and other premier weather forecasting and climate modelling 
organizations worldwide. 
About ECMWF 
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an 
international organization supported by 22 European States. Its Member States 
are Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the 
Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Turkey and 
the United Kingdom; the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Iceland and Slovenia 
are Co-operating States. 
The principal objectives of the Centre are the daily preparation of medium-range 
weather forecasts up to 10 days ahead for distribution to the meteorological 
services of the Member States; scientific and technical research directed to the 
improvement of these forecasts; the development of an operational seasonal 
forecasting capability; and the collection and storage of appropriate 
meteorological data. ECMWF also makes supercomputing resources available to its 
Member States for their own research. 
[1] The IBM brand consists of the established IBM e-business logo with the 
following descriptive term "server" following it. 
[2] UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, 
licensed exclusively through X/Open Company, Limited. 
Copyright2001 International Business Machines Corporation, all rights reserved. 
IBM, the e-business logo and pSeries are trademarks of IBM Corporation in the 
United States and/or other countries. 
All other company, product and service names are trademarks or registered 
trademarks of their respective companies. 
 
 
Contact: 
 
 John Buscemi 
 IBM 
 914-766-4495 
 jbuscemi@us.ibm.com 
 
 Austin Woods 
 ECMWF 
 011-44-118-949-9101 
 dra@ecmwf.int 
 
 
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