Itanium Solutions Alliance Selects Spain's COMPUTAEX as the 2010 Humanitarian Impact Innovation Award Winner

Finalists chosen in all other Innovation Award categories

Jun 15, 2010, 08:00 ET from Itanium Solutions Alliance

PORTLAND, Ore., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Itanium® Solutions Alliance today announced Spain's La Fundacion Computacion y Tecnologias Avanzadas de Extremadura (COMPUTAEX) as the winner in the Humanitarian Impact category of its 2010 Itanium Innovation Awards. COMPUTAEX, a non-profit founded to support a wide variety of social, environmental and scientific improvement projects for the Extremadura region of southwestern Spain, relies on an Itanium-based supercomputer to efficiently handle hundreds of parallel processes and manage huge data sets for its many complex research projects.

Finalists have also been chosen in the program's three other categories: Mission-Critical Data, Data Center Modernization, and Computationally Intensive Applications. Winners in these categories will be announced at the 2010 Innovation Awards Celebration on September 14 at The Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, to be held concurrent with the Intel Developer Forum at the Moscone Center.  

"On behalf of the Itanium Solutions Alliance, I'd like to express my deep appreciation to all who entered this year's Innovation Awards program," said Joan Jacobs, president and executive director of the Itanium Solutions Alliance. "We received many impressive submissions from systems integrators, research institutions, application developers, departments of government, and enterprise end-users from all over the world. It made the judges' decision a difficult one, but after much deliberation, we have selected an extremely worthy Humanitarian Impact winner in COMPUTAEX and narrowed the field to a few outstanding finalists in the other categories. We're very much looking forward to honoring all our finalists and winners at our awards ceremony in September."

"We are very pleased to accept this Itanium Innovation Award for Humanitarian Impact," said Dr. Jose-Luis Gonzalez-Sanchez, general manager, COMPUTAEX. "Our Itanium-based supercomputing center has helped researchers obtain results quicker than they could have imagined, making it possible to effectively develop innovative solutions to Spain's current social, environmental, and scientific challenges. In addition to providing massive computation capabilities and allowing us to process huge amounts of data, the Itanium architecture allows us to meet the future performance and growth needs of scientific users with flexibility and headroom."

The Itanium Solutions Alliance Innovation Awards is a global program designed to recognize and reward end users, system integrators, and developers for outstanding use of Intel® Itanium-based servers in their organizations or applications. A panel of distinguished judges evaluated submissions based on a number of criteria, such as difficulty of challenge, results produced, and originality.

Winner – Humanitarian Impact

The Humanitarian Impact category rewards the innovative use of Itanium-based systems to deliver results that benefit humanity through research, social improvements or other humanitarian efforts. The winner in this category receives a $25,000 cash award to support their important work. The 2010 winner in the Humanitarian Impact category is the Spanish non-profit organization COMPUTAEX.

COMPUTAEX's supercomputer is based on two shared-memory HP Integrity SuperDome SX2000 supernodes connected via 10 gigabit Ethernet and has been used to solve leading-edge social problems requiring more than 256 processors and up to two terabytes (TB) of RAM. Most of COMPUTAEX's scientific investigations include simulations that let researchers model real-world events such as how climate changes will affect farming, the impacts of an industry or a refinery, or the risks of a nuclear or chemical disaster. The reliable Itanium-based infrastructure enables researchers to run their simulations without the fear of losing research hours and gives them the assurance of accurate and quick results.

Finalists – Computationally Intensive Applications

This category focuses on organizations that have applied their systems to tackle massive workloads, which demand consistently high performance and scalable, shared resources. The finalists in the Computationally Intensive Applications category are:

  • COMPUTAEX (La Fundacion Computacion y Tecnologias Avanzadas de Extremadura), the Spanish nonprofit and Humanitarian Impact winner, submitted a distinct solution to tackle a massive electromagnetics computational problem for the automotive industry. They used two shared-memory, Itanium-based HP Integrity SuperDomes to solve the leading-edge problem with more than 620 million unknowns in less than 20 hours.
  • eBay, the world's largest online marketplace with more than 90 million active users globally, utilizes SGI's Itanium-based Altix 450 and Itanium-optimized software to mine massive amounts of transactional metadata and provide scoring and analysis on subjects ranging from market and business metrics to risk and fraud solutions.
  • The University of Malaga was commissioned by the Municipal Energy Management Agency of the city of Malaga, Spain to create an accurate solar irradiation map and develop software that calculates the amount of solar energy that can be captured at any point of the terrain as well as the parameters that allow a good exploitation of solar energy. For this task, they used an Itanium-based HP Superdome with a 64 dual-core Itanium processor.

Finalists - Data Center Modernization

This category highlights the success of projects in which an organization has migrated from a mainframe-based or RISC-based IT infrastructure to an open architecture framework to employ the reliability, availability and serviceability of Itanium-based systems. The finalists for Data Center Modernization are:

  • Fraport AG (Frankfurt Airport) has a passenger volume of more than 52.8 million annually, making it the busiest commercial airport in Germany and the seventh largest international airport. In order to provide a reliable, disaster-tolerant baggage logistics system and real-time database, Fraport AG modernized its data center with OpenVMS clusters based on HP Integrity server blades and the dual-core Itanium processor. This solution quadrupled the throughput of the baggage transportation control system and paved the way for future growth.
  • Future Electronics, a global distributor of electronic components that operates in 169 locations in 41 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia, underwent a successful migration from a MIPs processor to Itanium-based HP NonStop servers, providing the company a foundation in the data center to improve business efficiency and save considerable time and money.
  • MegaFon is the third-largest mobile phone operator in Russia. Its Stolichny Branch in Moscow serves more than seven million subscribers. To support vigorous subscriber growth and the implementation of a new billing system, it migrated from Sun Fire E25K servers running Solaris 9 to HP Integrity Superdome servers and HP-UX 11i v3 and saw 200 percent more I/O performance with 24 fewer processors and a 1.5 times decrease in the billing processing period. The new system helps downtime with quick failure recovery, restarting in 30 minutes versus 1.5 hours with Sun servers.

Finalists - Mission-Critical Data

This category recognizes the success organizations have delivered by implementing a database, data warehousing, or line-of-business solution that takes advantage of the dependability and performance of Itanium-based platforms. Finalists in this category are:

  • Nordea Bank Finland in Helsinki employed a new HP Integrity NonStop BladeSystem platform to handle the majority of its financial transactions—approximately 22 million per day—including payments, card and Netbank transactions.
  • Taiwan's Bureau of Labor Insurance needed a system that could handle integrated national pension-related operations for approximately five million employees. To meet stringent requirements for performance, stable operations, high availability and expandability, it implemented Itanium-based servers from NEC running HP-UX and Oracle's 10g RAC database server.
  • The Shanghai Stock Exchange had a critical need to build a "Next-Generation Trading System" to support the massive workloads on one of the largest stock exchanges in Asia. Very happy with the performance of the OpenVMS operating system, they added Itanium-based Integrity servers from HP to their  Alphaserver environment to form a mixed cluster and ensure a solid foundation for future growth.
  • Yodobashi Camera, a leader in the Japanese retail industry, places a high priority on its IT environment to meet new business challenges. Utilizing its flexible Itanium-based infrastructure, the company launched a Service-oriented Architecture protected by a disaster recovery environment to serve as the foundation for its mission-critical computing initiatives.

About the Itanium Solutions Alliance

The Itanium® Solutions Alliance is a global community of hardware, operating system and application vendors dedicated to accelerating the adoption and ongoing development of Itanium®-based solutions. Formed in September 2005, the Alliance comprises some of the most influential companies in the computing industry with a shared, strategic commitment to delivering mission-critical computing solutions based on the Intel® Itanium® architecture.

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