The National Weather Service has begun building a supercomputer using IBM servers and storage that by 2009 will expand to reach peak speeds of more than 100 teraflops.
The first phase of the system—a cluster of 44 eServer p690 eight- to 32-way servers and 42TB of TotalStorage FastT500 disk storage—is up and running at an IBM hosting center in Gaithersburg, Md., according to IBM.
Officials at the Armonk, N.Y., company said the cluster doubles the weather services current computing power and enables government forecasters to predict hurricanes five days in advance, rather than three.
The cluster is the first step in a contract that IBM said on Friday will be worth more than $200 million over nine years.
Like other top OEMs, IBM has put a special focus on supercomputing, including creating a Deep Computing unit earlier this year.