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IBM packages DB2 for Linux clusters

IBM has claimed its latest package of hardware and software will enable DB2 database software users to build Linux clusters on IBM servers faster and cheaper than before.

"Customers are collecting more information than they know what to do with, and databases are growing," said Jeff Jones, director of strategy for IBM's data management solutions group. "This clustering package provides a building-block approach to allow customers to build large, multiterabyte databases."

Clusters allow users to grow computing resources without purchasing large, expensive servers. Certain customers, such as life sciences companies, will always need powerful supercomputers, but many others - in financial, retail, manufacturing and public sectors - can benefit from the DB2 for Linux Clustering package.

Using the SuSE Linux 8 operating system, and existing DB2 software, customers can build clusters from two nodes to 1,000 nodes. IBM will demonstrate a 40-node cluster built using the package at Linuxworld in New York this week.

Customers can add systems management tools from IBM's Tivoli Software division and IBM's WebSphere application management software. The entire package has also been optimised for SAP's applications.

IBM's x335 and x360 xSeries servers make up the hardware portion of the package. Infiniband, the high-speed interconnect technology, is used to connect the clusters.

Pricing for the package starts at $10,000 (£6,182) for a two-node cluster with two x335 servers provided. The price for larger clusters will depend on customer needs. It is available worldwide through IBM or the company's resellers today (Monday).

The package is designed for medium-to-large enterprises with IT departments familiar with clustering packages. IBM's services arm will provide installation support for customers who want to build clusters, but lack the IT proficiency in-house.

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