AMD, Linux NetWorX help Boeing's rocket endeavors

The supercluster will support Boeing's Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program by simulating how a rocket's fuel and fluids will act during flight, according to Boeing. The program is based at the company's Space & Communications Group in Huntington Beach, California. The Delta IV is Boeing's newest rocket and is expected to enter service in 2002. It will assist with large satellite payloads.

Boeing has had the supercluster system since November, but only publicly announced its purchase of the system this week. Boeing reviewed four different architectures and went with the Linux NetworX developed supercluster because it offered a good price-per-calculation and processing power that exceeded the needs of the Delta IV project, said Dan Hart, director of systems engineering and integration for Boeing's Delta IV program. Boeing did not disclose the price of the system.

The supercluster consists of 96 servers with AMD 850MHz Athlon processors linked together with high-speed Ethernet, said Clark Roundy, vice president of marketing for Linux NetworX. The hardware was developed by Linux NetworX and the servers sit in six vertical rack mounts. Boeing's supercluster runs on a modified version of Red Hat's Linux and can be managed with Linux NetworX's ClusterWorXs, which allows for control of the cluster as a single system and remote management capabilities, he said.

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James Evans

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