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IBM SupperVessel for Accelerating OpenPOWER Ecosystem Innovation is Open for Business


June 11, 2015

In an announcement at the OpenPOWER Foundation Summit in Beijing, IBM announced SuperVessel, an initiative to enable business partners, application developers and university students to conduct innovation, develop and learn about the growing OpenPOWER ecosystem.

SuperVessel is an open access cloud service created by Beijing’s IBM Research and IBM Systems Labs. IBM is making it available to the global community of developers interested in participating in the OpenPOWER ecosystem.

Founded in December 2013 by IBM, NVIDIA, Mellanox, Google and Tyan, the OpenPOWER Foundation is a collaboration of technologists encouraging the adoption of an open server architecture for data centers.  IBM’s POWER architecture is the foundational technology piece of the OpenPOWER Foundation, which has expanded to more than 130 businesses, organizations and individuals spanning 22 countries. IT allows the cloud to acts as a virtual R&D engine for the creation, testing and pilot of emerging applications including deep analytics, machine learning and the Internet of Things.

IBM notes that: “SuperVessel demonstrates the latest achievements of IBM’s open computing technology. The cloud is based on POWER processors, with FPGAs and GPUs to provide heterogeneous acceleration service, and uses OpenStack to manage the whole cloud. SuperVessel is divided into online "labs" where users can access open source software, build and test applications and share experiences and best practices. The labs include Big Data, Internet of Things, acceleration and virtualization on POWER."

Super Vessel in action in China

As part of the announcement demonstrated SuperVessel’s utility, IBM pointed to the Tongji University's ProteinGoggle project, which aims at examining protein sequences to better understand human health. It also noted, the Chongqing subway system on SuperVessel, a project developed by the Chongqing University.

"With the SuperVessel open computing platform, students can experience cutting-edge technologies and turn their fancy ideas into reality. It also helps make our teaching content closer to real life," said Tsinghua University faculty member Wei XU. "We want to make better use of SuperVessel in many areas, such as on-line education."

There was also recognition by OpenPOWER partner Xilinz whose Vice President of Data Center and Wired Communications , Hemant Dhulla stated that: “Xilinx is delighted to have been chosen as the provider of FPGA accelerators for the IBM-developed SuperVessel cloud service…FPGA-based compute acceleration is a critical part of the OpenPOWER Foundation vision to handle demanding workloads in the most cost and power-efficient way. For this reason, a CAPI-enabled Xilinx FPGA is attached to every IBM POWER8 node in the SuperVessel cloud. The research and development being done in SuperVessel is helping to define the future of heterogeneous computing.”

"SuperVessel is a significant contribution by IBM Research and Development to OpenPOWER," said Terri Virnig, IBM Vice President of Power Ecosystem and Strategy. "Combining advanced technologies from IBM R&D labs and business partners, SuperVessel is becoming the industry's leading OpenPOWER research and development environment. It is a way IBM commits to and supports OpenPOWER ecosystem development, talent growth and research innovation."

As almost every posting these days about the transformation of data centers is emphasizing, along with the embrace of all things open as the best means for being open for business, the need for speed impacts all aspects of data center operations.  This means speeding up computing, storage and network resources, and as SuperVessel illustrates speeding up applications innovation and development as well. 




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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