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Old 02-14-2011, 06:32 PM   #18
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Re: Computer Learns Trivia or Birth of the Matrix?

To give you a size comparison of the amount of servers behind Watson, I have attached a picture of my Valhalla cluster which, while not containing 2 x POWER 7 chips per server that Watson does, can represent a decent size comparison.

Each blade chassis holds 14 servers. Each blade chassis is 7U tall in a server rack that is 42U or 47U tall. Essentially 5 of these if you include networking and other stuff in the rack. The IBM article assumes that there are thousands of cores of processing in Watson. There are typically 6 cores per processor, 2 processors per POWER 7 blade. This means:

70 Servers per rack or 840 cores per rack. Without knowing exact amounts, I can tell you that the storage, processing, and cooling racks do not take that much space at all. If you would imagine a file-cabinet at 1.5x the width and multiply that by 5-6, that is the physical size of the compute cluster. It's nothing short of amazing. That kind of processing power can be easily afforded by medium to high level universities.

To what end, I'm sure, but tonight will be the make or break for marketing for the POWER 7 processing infrastructure. You can thank IBM for the processors they put in your Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii.

EDIT: I would assume Watson compute cluster takes atleast 3 racks worth of servers)
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Last edited by Freshgrease; 02-14-2011 at 06:34 PM.
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