One of the unconventional aspects of the system’s design is that it will incorporate both Power6- and Intel Nehalem-based clusters using IBM’s new iDataPlex platform. According to company sources, 300 teraflops will be Nehalem-based nodes and 60 teraflops will be Power6-based. This is yet another example of IBM’s increasing comfort with hybrid computing platforms.
Michael rightly points out that the sticky wicket in hybrid systems is software, from the OS to the app
Of course, the difficult part of hybrid computing is the software. Initially, individual applications will execute on one architecture or the other. Cluster Resources’ Moab cluster scheduler will be used to map jobs and will also include specific enhancements for a stateless, diskless multi-architecture cluster. The entire cluster is hooked to a storage system and uses GPFS as the backend file system. Both processor architectures will share these resources.
The rest of the post is interesting too, with a look back at the (considerable number of) Power6 systems announced this year: 600 TFLOPS worth. Worth a read.