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DoD picks Opteron as weapon of mass simulation

Up in HP's arms

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HP has nailed down a major win for its still young line of Opteron-based servers, picking up a cluster contract from the US DoD (Department of Defense).

The busy DoD staffers will set up a 1,024 processor system in Sept. at the Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC) Major Shared Resource Center (MSRC) based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The cluster consists of hundreds of ProLiant DL145 servers running on AMD's Opteron chip and the Voltaire InfiniBand interconnect for high-speed networking.

While AMD launched Opteron on the back of large government deals, the company really has not done a very good job at securing more large cluster contracts over the past two years. Intel's Xeon and Itanium processors dominate the high-performance computing scene, even though Opteron leads countless price/performance benchmarks.

This makes the DoD win especially sweet for HP, which has put significant investment into building out a solid line of Opteron workstations and servers. At the moment, HP and Sun Microsystems stand as the leading Opteron server sellers, ahead of IBM. Dell has decided to forgo the dual-core server processor market in favor of selling slower single-core Xeon chips from Intel - a natural play for such an aggressive company.

The 10-teraflop HP box will run Linux and be used for warm, fuzzy research projects such as advanced weapons tests and simulations. ®

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