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Latest News

Partnering for Success
Posted by Gavin, Wednesday August 15 2007 @ 11:13AM EDT

In many instances, supercomputing solutions built for customers are firsts, fastest, largest or most unique. When you're working on the leading edge in this way, problems and hold-ups can and do occur. In this case it is essential for customers to know that the main players in any supercomputing project - the integrator and the primary hardware vendor - have a good relationship that ensures projects are run as efficiently as possible. It is imperative that customers should look for evidence of this relationship when selecting partners for their supercomputing solution.

1. Long-term commitment

When delivering supercomputing solutions it may take six to nine months before a project is fully complete - from conception to installation and configuration. The hardware vendor and the integrator should have a long-term commitment to each other; sharing plans, business goals and building their businesses together. This can only be achieved if integrators hold relationships with just one or two primary hardware vendors and do not maintain a policy of "playing one vendor off against the other."

Furthermore, such supercomputing solutions are often sold alongside commitments of future product direction. Such roadmap information is clearly

market sensitive and often subject to NDA's. Clearly, integrators that provide commitment to vendors are more likely to be trusted with such information.

OCF, for example, holds Premier Partner status with IBM and has a policy of wherever possible building its supercomputing solutions on IBM server and storage technology.

2. Interlinking partnerships

For complimentary technology - supercomputing interconnects for example - it is often the case the primary vendor will not supply this technology. After all, no one company can supply everything. However, a good integrator will look to build partnerships with complimentary technology vendors that also share partnerships with the integrator's primary technology vendors. These interlinking partnerships will help to build and develop the overall relationship between integrator and primary hardware vendors.

3. Regular interaction

Customers should look for evidence of regular interaction between vendor and integrator. Vendors and integrators should interact at multiple levels within each others' organisations. It is also essential for a vendor to provide integrators with a dedicated account manager - someone who has a focus on that integrator and its customers. This human interaction helps to ensure "the cogs mesh" and "don't grind" between each organisation.

4. Partner Programmes

Vendors particularly should demonstrate commitment to integrators through modern partner programmes. Partner programmes enable vendors and integrators to decide how best to open markets, build specific go-to market plans and clearly share the risks and rewards. Importantly, the programmes help vendors and integrators present a shared view or outlook to the customer.

5. Single team

When installing new technology for the first time, customers should also look for evidence that both the integrator and hardware vendor will be available on site throughout installation. This should be a regular feature until knowledge of a new product is completely transferred from vendor to integrator.

Ultimately, vendors and integrators should demonstrate to customers a commonality of interest - a business need that strongly links them both together.

A large hardware vendor such as IBM will have literally hundreds of thousands of customers and will find it increasingly expensive to services those customers. It may also find that smaller customer sites are not used to, or willing to work with large global organisations. Vendors will rely on integrators that can demonstrate market knowledge, technology know-how, a strong backing of customer references and the ability to integrate products without damaging the brand of the vendor. Vendors will also benefit if the integrator has its own profile and brand awareness.

In return, integrators will rely on vendors to continually develop products and solutions, but importantly offer good technical support and pricing. A vendor can also help integrators to secure sales and win deals by ensuring the success of its own brand.

Julian Fielden
Managing Director
OCF plc

-----------------------------

About OCF plc

Based in Sheffield UK, OCF designs, integrates and supports High Performance Computing (HPC), Visualisation (HPV) and Data Storage (HPS) solutions for the public and private sectors.

OCF provides solutions for over 38 (21 per cent) of the UK’s 176 Universities, Higher Education Institutes and Research Councils. Plus, it provides solutions for over 25 commercial clients from the automotive, aerospace, utilities, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, oil & gas and financial industries.

OCF holds IBM Premier Partner status and enhances its IBM-based solutions using technology from a range of partners: AMD, Cisco, Dataram, Fakespace, Infortrend, Intel, Microsoft, Nallatech, Qlogic, Supermicro Computer, Inc., Tyan and Voltaire.

For more information, please visit the OCF website http://www.ocf.co.uk


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Golden Eggs
(HP Visual Diagram and Config Guides)
Clusters:
CP4000 32x DL145G2 GigE Opteron, Dual Core
CP4000 64x DL145 GigE Opteron
CP4000 102x DL145 GigE Opteron
CP4000 32x DL145 Myri Opteron
Rocks Cluster 16-22 DL145 Opteron
Rocks Cluster 30-46 DL145 Opteron
Rocks Cluster 64-84 DL145 Opteron
LC3000 GigaE 24-36 DL145 Opteron
LC3000 Myri 16-32x DL145 Opteron
LC3000 GigaE 16-22x DL145 Opteron
LC2000 GigaE 16-22x DL360G3 Xeon
ProLiant:
DL365 System 2600Mhz 2P 1U Opteron Dual Core
DL360 G5 System 3000Mhz 2P 1U EM64T Dual/Quad Core
DL385 G2 2600Mhz 2P Opteron Dual Core
DL380 G5 3000Mhz 2P EM64T Dual/Quad Core
DL140 3060MHz 2P IA32
DL140 G2 3600MHz 2P EM64T
DL145 2600MHz 2P Opteron
DL145 G2 2600MHz 2P Opteron Dual Core
DL360 G4 3400MHz 2P EM64T
DL360 G4p 3800MHz 2P EM64T
DL380 G4 3800MHz 2P EM64T
DL385 2800MHz 2P Opteron Dual Core
DL560 3000MHz 4P IA32
DL580 G3 3330MHz 4P EM64T
DL585 2800MHz 4P Opteron Dual Core
Integrity:
Montecito 2P-16P, rx2660-rx8640 (multi-system diagram)
rx2660 1600MHz 2P 2U Montecito Systems and Cluster
rx6600 1600MHz 4P 7U Single & Cluster
rx3600 1600MHz 2P 4U Single & Cluster
rx2620 1600MHz 2P 2U Single & Cluster
Superdome 64P base configuration
Integrity Family Portrait (rx1620 thru rx8620), IA64
rx1620 1600MHz 2P MSA1000 Cluster IA64
rx2620 1600MHz 2P MSA1000 Cluster IA64
rx4640 1600MHz 4P MSA1000 Cluster IA64
rx7620 1600MHz 8P 10U Systems and MSA1000 Cluster
rx8620 1600MHz 16P 17U Systems and MSA1000 Cluster
Storage:
MSA30-MI Dual SCSI Cluster, rx3600, rx6600 and rx2660
MSA30-MI Dual SCSI Cluster, rx1620...rx4640
MSA500 G2, SCSI
MSA1510i IP SAN 48TB, SCSI and SATA
MSA1500 48TB, SCSI and SATA
Misc:
Dual Core AMD64 and EM64T systems with MSA1500






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