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planting seeds of progress with Linux on Intel
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The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center*, established in 1998, needed to give the researchers in its Laboratory of Computational Genomics* the computing power to perform the complex mathematical processing that could help them analyze and predict protein structures and guide experimentalists to breakthroughs in cancer treatments, disease-resistant crops and more.

Like any business, the Danforth Center wanted the most bang for its computing buck - or in Danforth's case, $2 million bucks. They needed performance, reliability, and rapid deployment. And they got all those and more in a 520-node Beowulf cluster with 1,040 Intel® Pentium® III processors and the Red Hat* Linux operating system. System benefits:

  • Performance - Offering peak performance of up to 335 Gflops, the machine bested the RISC* alternatives Danforth tested.
  • Reliability - If one node has a problem, overall service isn't impacted, and the operating system has proven production-ready.
  • Affordability - Danforth says it's getting performance equivalent to a traditional supercomputer costing roughly 10 times more.
  • System density - Floor space can be an issue with such large clustered machines. With dual-processor nodes and Intel's state-of-the-art 0.18 micron process technology, the Danforth machine fits into 26 cabinets covering roughly 159 square feet.
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