Tracewell Systems offers IBM PureFlex capabilities beyond the back office

Fitting powerful, scalable, efficient technology into a wide variety of environments

Published on 27-Mar-2013

"There is no question that IBM PureSystems defines what we will come to expect from computing platforms well into the future. As a product family, PureSystems changes the game and makes it possible to do things that could not be done before—more powerfully, efficiently and easily." - Matt Tracewell, executive vice president, Tracewell Systems

Customer:
Tracewell Systems

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
Flex System x240, PureFlex, PureFlex Standard, PureSystems, Storage: Storwize V7000, Empowering People, Enabling Business Flexibility, Systems Engineering, Transforming Business

Overview

Across industries, users collect, analyze and manage more data than ever before. The rise of more sophisticated sensor technology makes it possible to collect an astounding amount of real-time data from a wide range of sources—which then must be cross-analyzed, stored and retrieved in ways never before possible. These “extreme analytics” are often being used far beyond the back office, in increasingly harsh or unusual environments—any place in which traditional computer systems don’t fit due to size, weight and power constraints.

Business need:
Tracewell Systems needed a next-generation, high-speed computing platform to help its customers deploy IBM® PureFlex™ technology in small and rugged form factors in environments beyond the back office.

Solution:
Tracewell products leverage all PureFlex technology, including integrated IBM Flex System™ x240 compute nodes, IBM Flex System Fabric EN4093 scalable Ethernet switches and IBM Storwize® V7000 storage.

Benefits:
IBM created a long-term platform solution based on the most powerful IBM high-performance computing (HPC) technology, delivered PureFlex technology to virtually any environment, and provided a clear technology roadmap to customers.

Case Study

Across industries, users collect, analyze and manage more data than ever before. The rise of more sophisticated sensor technology makes it possible to collect an astounding amount of real-time data from a wide range of sources—which then must be cross-analyzed, stored and retrieved in ways never before possible. These “extreme analytics” are often being used far beyond the back office, in increasingly harsh or unusual environments—any place in which traditional computer systems don’t fit due to size, weight and power constraints.

This is where Tracewell Systems is making a difference. The company’s Advanced Form Factor Engineering Services and complete line of products take the best high-performance computing (HPC) technology and package it into small form factors or into rugged, high-performance systems that can deliver data analytics for specialized applications into nontraditional environments. With 40 years of experience in this area, Tracewell leads the market with innovative design, engineering and manufacturing solutions used by some of the nation’s largest military and commercial organizations.

Enabling HPC in unusual or extreme environments

Tracewell enables commercial organizations and military agencies to deliver mission-critical applications wherever they are needed most—even in environments where it was never before possible. Tracewell’s Small and Rugged Compute Platform (SRCP) family adapts IBM technology to create an entirely new category of computing platforms—systems with all of the tremendous advantages of PureFlex, now available in small or rugged form factors. Another benefit is that the SRCPs accept all the standard nodes for a PureFlex system—if a node works in an IBM Flex System, it will work in a Tracewell system. In particular, Tracewell systems leverage IBM Flex System x240 compute nodes with intelligent Intel® Xeon® processors, IBM Flex System Fabric scalable Ethernet switches, and Storwize V7000 storage systems.

The Tracewell SRCP family has been designed to support high-performance application requirements, enabling businesses and military agencies to manage their data needs for key applications ranging from radar, data intelligence, data mining and analytics, to advanced systems networking, security and cloud computing.

Tracewell platforms also enable users to deploy elsewhere the same hardware and software solutions they are using in their back offices. They simply move the necessary components into a compact SCRP form factor—which is not only a smaller footprint, but is designed to survive, for example, the rigors of forward deployment.

Matt Tracewell, executive vice president of Tracewell, explains, “Deploying applications beyond the back office used to require a custom system that took years to develop, was very expensive and locked you into a solution configuration that could never take advantage of the most current high-performance products. Our long-term platform solution is based on a wide range of the most powerful IBM HPC technology in the form of servers and switch technology. The foundation remains constant, but the solution can be easily updated as the latest compute nodes, storage products and high-speed network technologies from IBM become available.”

Working together to engineer long-term solutions

IBM was the only technology vendor that Tracewell considered. “To us, IBM products and solutions represent the best available in the market. We have found no other company that invests in complete solutions the way IBM does—from its significant investments in research and development, to continual improvements in hardware, to providing a complete portfolio of data analytics offerings. All of this represents a long-term plan and roadmap for the future of HPC,” says Tracewell.

“There is no question that IBM PureSystems™ defines what we will come to expect from computing platforms well into the future,” he says. “As a product family, PureSystems changes the game and makes it possible to do things that could not be done before—more powerfully, efficiently and easily.”

It was clear to Tracewell from the start that IBM innovation on the PureFlex platform would integrate well with Tracewell’s deep understanding of small form factor and rugged computing, as well as the company’s engineering capabilities. Tracewell’s innovative SRCP products rely on both the IBM ability to provide reliable, scalable solutions that work, and on Tracewell’s ability to uniquely adapt these solutions.

“Our business is in the extreme engineering details,” says Tracewell. “We work with clients who need the most advanced and powerful computing platforms available. IBM was the only company that could provide the engineering support, insight and teaming we needed to make our solutions, and our business, work for our customers. Furthermore, IBM is committed to designing the steady stream of server, networking and storage products that our customers need to solve their immediate, short-term problems—while also keeping an eye on the long term.”

Tracewell has engaged with a number of IBM groups to develop its PureFlex-based family of products, including the intellectual property, Systems and Technology, IBM System x®, PureSystems, engineering and product development groups. Tracewell also works with dedicated IBM sales and marketing teams for real-time feedback on product family requirements.

It is also critical for commercial and military customers that Tracewell can engineer or integrate its adapted chassis with other third-party technologies to provide complete solutions, in a smaller footprint, that are easier to deploy and manage.

Looking to the future—with IBM

As new IBM technologies come to market and integrate into the PureFlex platform, Tracewell plans to incorporate those capabilities into its IBM technology-based products to deliver ever-greater performance to customers.

“As IBM technology progresses, entirely new capabilities will emerge. By delivering PureFlex technology into truly unique environments, we believe customer innovation will naturally follow,” says Tracewell.

For more information

Contact your IBM representative or visit us at: ibm.com/puresystems/pureflex
For more information about Tracewell Systems, visit: tracewellsystems.com

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Flex System x240, PureFlex Standard, Storage: Storwize V7000

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation IBM Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America March 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, IBM Flex System, PureSystems, PureFlex, Storwize, and System x are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.