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PBS Professional 8.0 Harnesses the Power of SGI Altix Systems

Industry-leading workload management solution is highly integrated with new SGI Altix 4700 systems to allow customers to take full advantage of unique architecture

TROY, Mich. USA (Nov. 15, 2006) - Altair Engineering, Inc., a leading global provider of technology and services that strengthen client innovation and decision-making, today announced extensive enhancements to PBS Professional 8.0 that allow Altix customers to maximize the return on investment of their SGI Altix system. The announcement was made at Supercomputing 2006 (SC06), the international conference for high-performance computing (HPC), networking, storage and analysis.

"SGI Altix 4700 systems lead the industry in scalability and flexibility of configurations," said Bill Mannel, director of Systems Marketing, SGI. "PBS Professional 8.0 allows Altix customers to manage diverse workloads across their Altix systems, with maximum job performance and minimal administrative overhead. Altair’s continued investment in enhancing PBS Professional to leverage Altix’ unique capabilities is the reason SGI selected PBS Professional as our preferred workload management solution."

Major enhancements in PBS Professional 8.0 that are unique to the Altix architecture are summarized below:

  • New node-virtualization functionality, which extends scalability and provides finer control over individual hardware components. This functionality results in higher levels of system availability, while maintaining excellent performance levels.

  • Automatic detection of hardware topology reduces time to production and identifies optimal placement of jobs on large Altix systems.

  • Support for heterogeneous component configurations, including memory-only blades, blades with varying amounts of physical memory and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA).

  • Enhanced support for SGI MPI (MPT) across Infiniband networks that provides the user with improved job process management and the ability to execute a job across multiple Altix systems within CPUsets.

  • Extensive support and integration with SGI ProPack 5, which enables maximum job performance by leveraging the resource management tools for NUMA systems and assures a robust solution for facilitating CPUsets.

  • Flexibility that enables IT managers to customize job placement definitions to satisfy site-specific requirements.

"The Columbia system at NASA Ames is the largest production Altix system in the world, and we utilize PBS Professional to manage our workload on this system," said Alan Powers, NASA Advanced Supercomputing High End Computing Lead. "We worked closely with Altair on specific enhancements to PBS Professional that help us better utilize this massive infrastructure. After participating in the beta program, we are very pleased with the new functionality we will have in PBS Professional 8.0."

PBS Professional is an open workload management solution for HPC environments. The software maximizes the utilization of computing resources by intelligently scheduling and managing computational workload in a number of industries. By increasing the efficiency of the hardware and software resources, PBS Professional reduces total cost of ownership and provides true business value to grid computing customers.

"As a SGI customer, Altair uses six Altix systems globally for professional engineering projects within our Product Design and Development organization," said Michael Humphrey, vice president of Altair’s PBS GridWorks business unit. "As a partner, we appreciate our close working relationship with SGI, and our latest release of PBS Professional takes our partnership to the next level. PBS Professional 8.0 has a significant content of Altix-unique features that were driven by customer requests."

About Altix 4700
The Altix 4700 platform from SGI is comprised of modular blades - interchangeable compute, memory, I/O and special-purpose blades for "plug and solve" configuration flexibility. The innovative blade-to-NUMAlink architecture enables users to mix and match eight standardized blade choices for perfect system right-sizing. The compact blade packaging of the Altix 4700 rack also provides excellent performance density. Socket-compatible, with single and dual-core Intel Itanium 2 processors, SGI Altix 4700 platform offers easy upgrade or expansion of CPU, memory, I/O or visualization capabilities. This flexible growth path makes it possible for customers to adjust system configurations to meet current and changing requirements easily and cost-effectively; minimum risk for maximum productivity. For more information about SGI products and solutions for the government and defense industry, visit

About PBS GridWorks
PBS GridWorks provides a suite of technologies that allows enterprise clients to maximize their ROI on computing assets through policy-based grid technology. The suite includes OpenPBS, PBS Professional, e-compute, Scali Manage and a variety of professional services. PBS GridWorks products are widely deployed within a number of industries, including manufacturing, government, academia, life sciences, energy, digital media and finance. Altair’s mature partner network ensures seamless integration and ease of deployment.

About Altair Engineering
Altair Engineering, Inc. strengthens client innovation and decision-making through technology that optimizes the analysis, management and visualization of business and engineering information. Privately held with more than 1,000 employees, Altair has offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific. With a 20-year-plus track record for product design, advanced engineering software and grid computing technologies, Altair consistently delivers a competitive advantage to customers in a broad range of industries. To learn more, please visit

Diane Forbes
Altair Engineering, Inc.
+1.248.614.2400, ext. 464

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