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IBM runs on Power boxes

IBM has incorporated a few new wrinkles, including Power-based server applications, into its IT support package for the U.S. Open and its Web site,

While the re-emergence of 35-year-old Andre Agassi and the continued dominance of wunderkind Maria Sharapova have highlighted the on-court headlines at this year's U.S. Open Tennis Championships in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., IBM is hoping its new Power5 chip-based IT support for can make news among those more interested in .NET than tennis nets.

Big Blue has partnered with the U.S. Tennis Association and the U.S. Open -- the most prestigious tennis tournament in the U.S. -- since 1992. Together, they launched in 1995 so racket heads could follow the matches online.

The iSeries' role this year is in powering a Web-based end-user application called "Point Tracker," a graphics tool using autonomic technology that recreates the trajectory of every shot. On-court cameras capture and record ball position data for every forehand, ace and volley. Once that data is integrated with the scoring data, the shot data is pushed to the Web site to enable visitors to follow the action online.

IBM is running the Web site on an eServer pSeries system, a Power5-based server.

Two pSeries systems, models p550 -- released two weeks ago -- and p570, replaced Web and application servers to help automate the infrastructure that supports the Web site. The 2005 U.S. Open Web site traffic will be managed by Big Blue from a "virtualized" server environment at one of the three hosting locations.

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According to IBM, the pSeries systems allow IBM to consolidate several servers onto two larger boxes.

The pSeries p5 systems handle workloads from Web serving to fan polling, feedback and player search applications, which are managed from each pSeries p5 server as a virtualized environment using Power-based virtualization technologies such as Micro-Partitioning, Virtual I/O Server and Partition Load Manager, which consolidate AIX 5L and multiple Linux operating environments onto a single system.

Approximately 2.8 million fans visited during the two-week tournament in 2004.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Luke Meredith, News Writer

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