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IBM Opens Development Laboratory in the Center of Manchester


Lab Specializes in IBM POWER7 Systems

MANCHESTER, England, - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the official opening of a new systems software development laboratory in Manchester. With a focus on IBM Power Systems, the engineers in the Lab develop optimization, security, and virtualization software to help clients manage emerging workloads designed to reduce data center costs.

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of major investments in IBM’s high-end systems in 2010. The Manchester system software development laboratory follows similar investments in IBM’s manufacturing and development capabilities this year in Guadalajara, Mexico and Poughkeepskie, New York, in support of systems and storage solutions. The new facility currently supports local clients, such as the Daresbury Laboratory, and expects to support worldwide projects for international clients.

Jonathan Follows at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury Laboratory said: “Daresbury’s Computational Science and Engineering Department looks to the future of high performance computing. We investigate advances in computer hardware and software and this enables us to develop applications which underpin innovation in, for example, areas such as aircraft design, drug development and weather forecasting. Systems such as POWER7 enable accurate models, predictions and forecasts to be generated on computers and thus can help to reduce the cost and time to develop new products. Daresbury Laboratory has been using IBM systems for many years, and POWER7 represents the latest incremental change. We will make our system available to UK academic users, including the University of Manchester.”

“IBM POWER7 systems are optimized and integrated from the chip to hardware and software for workloads requiring the management of enormous data-driven transactions and analyzing that data in real time,” said Rod Adkins, Senior Vice President for IBM Systems & Technology Group. “POWER7 systems provide not just raw speed, but the intelligent performance needed for smart electrical grids, analytics in financial markets and other emerging business models made possible in today’s massively interconnected world. The deep expertise at our new Manchester Lab is vital to the success of POWER7 systems and a strong resource for our client base here.”

“By the year 2050, it is estimated that more than 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. The pressure this brings means that cities must become smarter in adopting new technologies and knowledge to address the challenges we face. Manchester’s rich innovation pedigree and ambition for the future makes it an exciting place to trailblaze new approaches to urban futures. We’re delighted to be working in collaboration with IBM to help deliver smarter ways of living and working in Manchester,” said Cathy Garner, Chief Executive, Manchester: Knowledge Capital.

The Manchester Lab engineers have already developed IBM PowerVM Lx86 for IBM Power Systems, a technology which helps to enable clients to consolidate their Linux-based applications onto IBM systems. Additional sample projects showcasing IBM innovation for future client adoption involve work to boost system optimization. For example, local engineers are creating new “intelligent system tuning” capabilities that automatically decides how to parse resources like memory or compute power to execute different workloads. The work is designed to minimize system expertise requirements and allow clients to re-direct scarce IT resources toward revenue-generating projects.

In addition to IBM systems and processor architecture knowledge, the Lab’s engineering expertise includes in-depth system software knowledge and key performance optimization skills across the whole software and hardware stack. This allows the local team to deliver new technologies for IBM systems and advise clients on workload consolidation and optimization. Situated off Deansgate in the heart of the city, the 10,000-square-foot Lab also provides testing which supports development for IBM systems to run a full set of applications for more informed systems investment decisions. The Lab is linked to a nearby external data center which holds a wide range of IBM Power Systems and IBM System x servers. This enables the engineers to harness exceptional compute power and develop software on the latest hardware technology.

IBM’s POWER7 systems can manage millions of transactions in real time and analyse the associated volumes of data typical of emerging applications across burgeoning areas like mobile telecommunications. Power architecture technology also offers extremely broad diverse market penetration of any microprocessor in the industry today, from digital entertainment to supercomputers.

The IBM Lab has its origins in Transitive, a spinout company from University of Manchester, acquired by IBM in 2009 and many of the Engineers are former graduates of the University. The acquisition formed part of IBM’s ongoing strategy to help clients optimise the efficiency and productivity of their computing infrastructure and improve the utilisation of the servers that run them. With this translation technology, along with existing migration capabilities, IBM systems can give businesses a fast, easy path for server consolidation to help them reduce operational expenses, floor space and energy costs.

“The University of Manchester is particularly proud of how Transitive is a very successful spinout of the university. We are delighted to see that IBM recognizes the excellent local expertise by adopting the team as an IBM systems software development laboratory in Manchester,” said Dr. Hugh Aldridge, Director of Business Relations, The University of Manchester. “This development will strengthen the already strong collaboration between the University and IBM; a relationship that has delivered significant value to both in multiple areas from the education of students through to collaborative research programs. As a world-class university in a major city with a history of innovation and industry, the University of Manchester is committed to fostering collaborating corporate relationships in our efforts to propel Manchester as a major node of the knowledge economy. The creation of this new lab demonstrates the value of this approach.”

For more information about IBM, visit For details on IBM Power Systems, visit

Note to editors:

* An on-demand video replay of the lab opening will be available 2:00 p.m. BST (9:00 a.m. EDT) via


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