The U.S. military has enlisted IBM to help bolster the nations security by purchasing 66 p690 Regatta servers that will deployed as part of a missile-defense program.
The contract, which also includes the sale of an unspecified number of IBM eServer workstations, represents a significant customer win for IBM, which competes against Sun Microsystems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. in the high-end Unix-based server market.
In addition to the hardware deal, the U.S. Department of Defense said today that IBMs proprietary operating system, AIX 5L, became the first Unix-based OS to be certified for use with the governments custom Common Operating Environment software, known as COE.
“The Common Operating Environment is a key piece of software enabling better communication within the Department of Defense,” said government spokesman Fritz Schultz.
Although neither the Department of Defense nor IBM would disclose the value of the deal, an IBM representative did note that p690 servers typically sell for $800,000 to $2 million each, with some pSeries systems costing up to $10 million.
The systems will be used in the Pentagons Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program, which is designed to develop technologies and strategies for defeating potential missile attacks on the United States.
IBM said 20 of the servers will be used by Boeing Co. to run missile simulations and other compute-intensive tests. TRW Inc. will use the balance of the systems for battle management command and control.
IBM introduced its top-performing 32-way Regatta servers last October. The servers feature a number of new fault-tolerant features including self-healing technologies developed as a part of Big Blues $1 billion eLiza project.
The p690 features IBMs newest processor, the 64-bit Power4, which has been demonstrated to outperform competitive products on a wide variety of benchmark tests.