IBM Parallel Environment for Linux extends parallel application development to Linux

IBM United States Software Announcement 206-094
April 25, 2006


 ENUS206-094.PDF (45KB)

Table of contents   Document options  
TOC link At a glance TOC link Offering Information
TOC link Overview TOC link Publications
TOC link Key prerequisites TOC link Technical information
TOC link Planned availability dates TOC link Ordering information
TOC link Description TOC link Terms and conditions
TOC link Product positioning TOC link IBM Electronic Services
TOC link Statement of direction TOC link Prices
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At a glance

Parallel Environment for Linux is a high-function execution environment for parallel applications running on Linux:

  • Offers a fully-threaded Message Passing Interface (MPI) library with full MPI 1.2 function and much of MPI 2 function, including MPI-I/O and MPI one-sided operations
  • Offers MPI-IO which, with GPFS, supports the kind of high-volume and high-speed file I/O required by many parallel applications
  • Gives the software developer a parallel API in a controlled, user-friendly environment for the execution and monitoring of parallel applications
  • Offers the ability to compile and run applications using the LAPI communications library, shipped with Parallel Environment for Linux
  • Supports the GNU open software foundation compiler as well as IBM compilers
  • Supports the use of many ISV products that apply parallel computation to specific problems

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If your business has clusters of IBM systems running Linux™, Parallel Environment for Linux, V4.2 can offer you a way to improve resource utilization and reduce time to solution in a cluster environment. Parallel Environment can offer high-performance and fast job turn-around time for numerically intensive and demanding scientific, technical, and strategic business applications.

Based on the Parallel Environment for AIX 5L™ product offering, Parallel Environment for Linux delivers support for parallel application development and execution on xSeries® (Intel®-based), and IBM AMD-based (e325, e326) processors running Linux.

Parallel Environment for Linux can be used on a single server to develop parallel applications for use on a Linux cluster. These parallel applications can then be moved to a networked cluster of servers delivering substantial performance gains. Parallel Environment and Message Passing Interface (MPI) are also useful for applying a parallel solution to problems which are utilizing too much data to be managed on a single workstation.

Parallel Environment is designed to offer a user-friendly, run-time environment for the execution of parallel applications. The components of Parallel Environment are:

  • The Parallel Operating Environment (POE) for submitting and managing jobs
  • An MPI library for communication among the tasks that make up a parallel program
  • Parallel utilities for easing file manipulation
  • Integration with the Low-level Application Programming Interface (LAPI) used as a common communications protocol transport layer

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Key prerequisites
  • Select IBM eServer® systems running Linux
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, Service Pack 3 or
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, Update 3

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Planned availability dates
  • April 28, 2006, electronic download
  • June 2, 2006, CD media

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Parallel Environment for Linux delivers a full, highly tuned implementation of the MPI-1.1 and 2.0 standard for message passing (refer to the Limitations section). The implementation of MPI-IO is optimized for use with IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS). The full MPI library is thread safe.

The Parallel Environment offering for Linux includes an implementation of LAPI, an IBM proprietary API for efficient one-sided communication. The MPI implementation in Parallel Environment uses LAPI as a message transport layer. Your applications can be written to use MPI or LAPI or both.

With Parallel Environment, MPI and LAPI use UDP/IP communication between compute nodes and shared memory between tasks on the same node. An application simply does MPI (or LAPI) communication calls which function the same whether tasks are on the same node or distinct nodes.

Parallel Environment for Linux includes parallel utilities (copy, gather, and scatter) to ease file manipulation across IBM distributed memory systems. Shared library support improves flexibility and maintenance for applications that utilize Parallel Environment for Linux.

User productivity is maintained by adhering to existing standards, reducing a users' learning time. The resulting ease-of-use can increase productivity. Some of the standards that Parallel Environment uses are:

  • Parallel application development follows the same methodology used during serial application development.
  • Informative messages and familiar commands are used to aid in the execution analysis of parallel applications.
  • The MPI Standard supported by Parallel Environment for Linux, delivers straightforward message-passing facilities by application developers familiar with distributed memory machines. This can also protect your software investment by allowing portability of applications. The goal of this interface is to deliver a standard for writing message passing programs for practicality, portability, efficiency, and flexibility.

A parallel profiling capability, developed to be compatible with GPROF profiling commands, can generate important statistical data about the parallel application that can be used for identifying potential performance problems such as code cycles, inefficient subroutines, and other code latencies and bottlenecks. While developers may be the main users of profiling information, any user can collect and examine profiling data.

Parallel Environment for Linux supports up to 256 tasks per Parallel Operating Environment (POE) job. POE delivers support for compiling and running applications using the LAPI communications library. The LAPI and MPI libraries can both be used in a single program.

The POE is used to set up the environment for the users parallel program and to control and monitor job execution. The POE API allows an application to retrieve the process IDs of all POE master processes running on the same node. This information can be used for accounting, or to get more detailed information about the tasks spawned by these POE processes.

Accessibility by people with disabilities

A U.S. Section 508 Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) containing details on the products accessibility compliance can be requested by visiting the IBM Web site

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Product positioning

Parallel Environment for Linux can be beneficial to those users who:

  • Require high performance and fast job turn-around time for numerically intensive and demanding scientific, technical, and strategic business applications running Linux
  • Want to exploit parallel computing as a means of obtaining greater performance in a production environment
  • Seek ways to improve resource utilization and reduce the time to a solution or solve larger problems by exploiting parallel processing in a cluster environment

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Statement of direction

IBM intends to make Parallel Environment for Linux available for the IBM System p™ family of servers and IBM BladeCenter® JS20 and JS21 blades by third quarter 2006.

All statements regarding IBM's plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice.


AIX 5L and System p are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
eServer, xSeries, and BladeCenter are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation.
Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries or both.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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Offering Information

Product information is available via the Offering Information Web site

Also, visit the Passport Advantage® Web site

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No publications are shipped with this program.

The following publications are available from the Web:

  • IBM Parallel Environment: Introduction (SA23-2218)
  • IBM Parallel Environment: Installation (SC23-5208)
  • IBM Parallel Environment: Operation and Use (SA23-2217)
  • IBM Parallel Environment: MPI Programming Guide (SA23-2219)
  • IBM Parallel Environment: Messages (SA38-0648)
  • IBM Parallel Environment: MPI Subroutine Reference (SA23-2220)

To access all, and the most recent Parallel Environment documentation in PDF and HTML formats, visit the IBM eServer® Cluster Information Center Web site

The IBM Publications Center

The Publications Center is a worldwide central repository for IBM product publications and marketing material with a catalog of 70,000 items. Extensive search facilities are provided. Payment options for orders are via credit card (in the U.S.) or customer number for 50 countries. A large number of publications are available on-line in various file formats, and they can all be download by all countries free of charge.

News of many publications may be subscribed to via Mysupport.

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Technical information

Hardware requirements

Parallel Environment for Linux™, V4.2 is supported on the following IBM servers running Linux

  • IBM eServer 325, 326 Opteron/AMD-based
  • IBM xSeries®

Note: IP is supported over Gb Ethernet and 10Gb Ethernet in all supported Linux environments.

Software requirements

Either of the following Linux distributions

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, Service Pack 3
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, Update 3

For development, any one of these compilers

  • IBM C/C++, V7.0.0-1
  • IBM XL Fortran, V9.1.0-1
  • GNU — Open Software Foundation


  • Parallel Environment for Linux, V4.2 does not interoperate between different node types or different Linux distributions. All of the nodes used in a parallel job must be of the same type (AMD or Intel®) running the same level of operating system (including maintenance levels), same Linux distribution, and same level for all portions of the Parallel Environment package.
  • The MPI-IO data representations, external32 and internal, are not supported. The native data representation as well as user-defined data representations are supported on all platforms.
  • Parallel Environment for Linux offers a fully-threaded MPI library supporting all of MPI 1.1, 1.2 and 2.0, except the functions specified in the "MPI-2: Extensions to the Message Passing Interface" chapter on "Process Creation and Management" found at the MPI Web site

Performance considerations: Parallel Environment and the MPI library are intended for use in High Performance Computing (HPC) applications that can exploit multiple processors to achieve parallelism, using message passing to pass data among the processors where necessary. In such environments, performance of the interconnecting network may be important.

In this release, MPI and LAPI use UDP/IP communication between compute nodes. Parallel Environment's use of UDP is effective in getting the best bandwidth, latency, and scalability available in the underlying network. The best performance is achieved with a dedicated, high-performance network within the cluster to be used for MPI communication.

Planning information

Customers wishing to expand their Parallel Environment jobs beyond 256 tasks may submit a special bid. Special bids of up to 1000 compute nodes and 8192 tasks will be considered.

Customer responsibilities: Ensure all of the nodes to be used in a parallel job are of the same type (AMD or Intel) running the same level of operating system, same Linux distribution and same level for all portions of the Parallel Environment package.

Packaging: This program is distributed as a single package available via CD-ROM media or electronic software distribution (ESD). A product README file and license information is shipped with the product. Publications are available online.

This program when downloaded from a Web site, contains the applicable IBM license agreement, and License Information (LI), if appropriate, and will be presented for acceptance at the time of installation of the program. The license and LI will be stored in a directory such as LICENSE.TXT for future reference.

Security, auditability, and control

Parallel Environment for Linux uses the security and auditability features of the Linux operating system.

The customer is responsible for evaluation, selection, and implementation of security features, administrative procedures, and appropriate controls in application systems and communication facilities.
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Ordering information

This product is only available via Passport Advantage. It is not available as shrinkwrap.

Product Group: Other Software
 Product Identifier Description (PID)
 Parallel Environment for Linux (5724-N05)
Product Category: Parallel Environment

Charge metric

                 Part number or
Program name     PID number       Charge metric
Parallel         5724-N05         Per processor
 for Linux

Passport Advantage

Program name/description                    number
Par Envir for Linux Multiplatform           BH02YIE
 Media Package English
Par Envir for Linux + CHARGE UNIT           D57SHLL
Par Envir for Linux + CHARGE UNIT           E02GELL
Par Envir for Linux + CHARGE UNIT           D57SILL

On/Off Capacity on Demand

Description                                 number
Parallel Environment Linux                  D57SSLL

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Terms and conditions

This product is only available via Passport Advantage. It is not available as shrinkwrap.

Agreement: IBM International Program License Agreement and License Information document. Proofs of Entitlement (PoE) are required for all authorized use. Part number products only, offered outside of Passport Advantage, where applicable, are license only and do not include Software Maintenance.

License information form number: L-RHAN-6L7PB7

On or near the planned availability date, the LI will be available for review on the IBM Software License Agreement Web site

Limited warranty: Yes

Warranty: This program includes a warranty for one year from acquisition from IBM or an authorized IBM Business Partner. For one year from acquisition of the program, this warranty provides the customer with access to databases containing program information and FAQs, including any known fixes to defects, which the customer can download or otherwise obtain and install.

Money-back guarantee: If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the program and you are the original licensee, return it within 30 days from the invoice date to the party (either IBM or its reseller) from whom you acquired it for a refund.

For clarification, note that (1) for programs acquired under the IBM International Passport Advantage offering, this term applies only to your first acquisition of the program and (2) for programs acquired under any of the IBM On/Off Capacity on Demand (On/Off CoD) software offerings, this term does not apply since these offerings apply to programs already acquired and in use by the customer.

Copy and use on home/portable computer: No

Volume orders (IVO): No

Passport Advantage applies: Yes, and through the Passport Advantage Web site at

Software Maintenance applies: Yes

Software Maintenance, previously referred to as Software Subscription and Technical Support, is included in the IBM International Passport Advantage Agreement. Installation and technical support is provided by the Software Maintenance offering of the IBM International Passport Advantage Agreement. This fee service provides voice and electronic access to IBM support organizations.

IBM includes one year of Software Maintenance with the initial license acquisition of each Program acquired. The initial period of Software Maintenance can be extended by the purchase of a renewal option, if available.

While your Software Maintenance is in effect, IBM provides you assistance for your routine, short duration installation and usage (how-to) questions; and code-related questions. IBM provides assistance via telephone and, if available, electronic access, only to your information systems (IS) technical support personnel during the normal business hours (published prime shift hours) of your IBM support center. (This assistance is not available to your end users.) IBM provides Severity 1 assistance 24 hours a day, every day of the year. For additional details, consult your IBM Software Support Guide at

Software Maintenance does not include assistance for the design and development of applications, your use of programs in other than their specified operating environment, or failures caused by products for which IBM is not responsible under this agreement.

For additional information about the Passport Advantage Agreement, visit the Passport Advantage Web site at

IBM Operational Support Services — SoftwareXcel: No

iSeries™ Software Maintenance applies: No

Variable charges apply: No

Educational allowance available: Not applicable.

On/Off Capacity on Demand

To be eligible for On/Off Capacity on Demand pricing, customers must be enabled for temporary capacity on the corresponding hardware, and the required contract — Z125-6907, Amendment for iSeries and pSeries® Temporary Capacity On Demand — Software — must be signed prior to use.
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IBM Electronic Services

IBM Global Services has transformed its delivery of hardware and software support services to put you on the road to higher systems availability. IBM Electronic Services is a Web-enabled solution that provides you with an exclusive, no-additional-charge enhancement to the service and support available on the IBM eServer platform. These services provide the opportunity for greater system availability due to faster problem resolution and preemptive monitoring. IBM Electronic Services is comprised of two separate, but complementary, elements: IBM Electronic Services news page and IBM Electronic Service Agent™.

IBM Electronic Services news page provides you with a single Internet entry point that replaces the multiple entry points traditionally used by customers to access IBM Internet services and support. The news page enables you to gain easier access to IBM resources for assistance in resolving technical problems.

The IBM Electronic Service Agent is no-additional-charge software that resides on your IBM eServer system. It is designed to proactively monitor events and transmit system inventory information to IBM on a periodic, customer-defined timetable. The IBM Electronic Service Agent tracks system inventory, hardware error logs, and performance information. If the server is under a current IBM maintenance service agreement or within the IBM warranty period, the Service Agent automatically reports hardware problems to IBM.

Early knowledge about potential problems enables IBM to provide proactive service that may result in higher system availability and performance. In addition, information collected through the Service Agent will be made available to IBM service support representatives when they are helping answer your questions or diagnosing problems.

To learn how IBM Electronic Services can work for you, visit

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The prices provided in this announcement are suggested retail prices for the U.S. only and are provided for your information only. Dealer prices may vary, and prices may also vary by country. Prices are subject to change without notice. For additional information and current prices, contact your local IBM representative.

Passport Advantage

For Passport Advantage information and charges, contact your IBM representative or authorized IBM Business Partner. Additional information is also available on the following Passport Advantage Web site

Business Partner information

If you are an IBM Business Partner — Distributor for Workstation Software acquiring products from IBM, you may link directly to Business Partner pricing information. An ID and password are required (use IBM ID). Copy the Web address below into the address field of your browser.


iSeries and Electronic Service Agent are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Passport Advantage, eServer, xSeries, pSeries, and PartnerWorld are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation.
Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries or both.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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