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Marist College Beefs Up HPC with IBM z114 Hybrid Mainframe

Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY is expanding its high-performance computing capabilities with a new hybrid computing system from IBM for AIX and Linux applications.

The latest computer installation comes courtesy of a $680,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Major Research Instrumentation Program to Marist's School of Computer Science and Mathematics. Marist College, which has 5,350 students, has been doing high-performance computing work with IBM since 1988, when the two organizations set up a joint study arrangement. Under the partnership, the school's community works with IBM research and development staff on emerging technology initiatives. That includes IBM involvement in the Marist College Institute for Data Center Professionals, which delivers training on enterprise computing.

The school purchased a mid-sized IBM z114 mainframe with a zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension (zBX). zBX houses IBM Power7 blades and System x blades for deploying AIX and Linux applications and optimizers for specific types of workloads.

According to the college, the z114 provides a hybrid computing architecture to more efficiently support workloads that span virtual operating system platforms. For example, if a project requires a statistics library running on AIX and Cognos on Linux on System z, those two virtual machines could be defined as a single workload.

The system resides in the college's Enterprise Computing Research (ECR) Lab. The school will use the mainframe for research and staff training. The new computing resources will also be made available to members of the Enterprise Computing Community, an organization consisting of eight academic and nine corporate members and focused on improving undergraduate education in large systems.

In 2010 IBM had opened a new manufacturing facility in Poughkeepsie at an existing site to produce System z mainframes and other hardware.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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