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February 10, 2014

IBM Announces Research Collaboration with Texas A&M University System

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributor

IBM (News - Alert) has announced the beginning of abroad research collaboration with Texas A&M University System supported by a large computational sciences infrastructure designed to facilitate advances in agriculture, geosciences and engineering.

Per the collaboration agreement, IBM will join researchers at the A&M System to analyze new computing technologies required to advance data-driven science discovery and innovation.

IBM will provide the computing infrastructure for the project, utilizing a variety of IBM hardware and software, namely: Blue Gene/Q technology, consisting of two racks, with more than 2,000 compute nodes, and providing 418 teraflops (TF) of sustained performance; Power and System, comprising 75 PowerLinux 7R2 servers with POWER7+ microprocessors;  System x servers, containing an estimated 900 IBM System x dense hyperscale compute nodes; Platform Computing (News - Alert), for managing and accelerating various computational workloads; and General Parallel File Systems (GPFS) Storage Systems, providing five petabytes (PB) of shared storage for use by the compute building blocks.

This combination of big data analytics and high performance computing (HPC) systems will be used for activities such as improving extraction of Earth-based energy resources, accelerating materials development and facilitating the smart energy grid.

"Combining the incredible intellectual and technological resources of Texas A&M University and IBM will further position Texas as a leader in identifying and solving some of the most complex challenges we face," said Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) conducts research to find solutions that address the various technological and engineering requirements of the state and nation. This alliance with IBM gives the group a unique opportunity to meet the needs of researchers in a variety of verticals such as geosciences and agriculture.

Together, the organizations will work towards energy resource management; sustainable availability of food; new materials development; and disease spread tracking, modeling and prediction.

"The Texas A&M System and IBM share a passion and a commitment to research that identifies practical solutions to global challenges," said Chancellor John Sharp (News - Alert), Texas A&M University System. "As the largest research university in the state, this agreement is a major step forward for the A&M System in research computing power. This brings together the best computer scientists and technology in the world to focus on issues so important to our role as a leading research institution and to our land-grant mission of serving the state while also providing resources to serve the greater good throughout the world."

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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