IBM has released SuperVessel, an initiative that enables business partners, application developers and university students to conduct innovation, development and learning for the growing OpenPOWER ecosystem.

SuperVessel, an open access cloud service created by Beijing's IBM Research and IBM Systems Labs, is now available to the global community of developers who want to participate in the OpenPOWER ecosystem. The cloud acts as a virtual R&D engine for the creation, testing and pilot of emerging applications including deep analytics, machine learning and the Internet of Things.

In an announcement at the OpenPOWER Foundation Summit in Beijing, IBM said SuperVessel has attracted thousands of users in the past six months, including developers from the open source community and students from more than 30 universities in China and around the world. OpenPOWER ecosystem partners can leverage SuperVessel to speed up their application development.

Founded in December 2013 by IBM, NVIDIA, Mellanox, Google and Tyan, the OpenPOWER Foundation is a collaboration of technologists encouraging the adoption of an open server architecture for computer data centers.

IBM's POWER architecture is the cornerstone of innovation for the OpenPOWER Foundation, which has expanded to more than 130 businesses, organizations and individuals spanning 22 countries.

SuperVessel demonstrates the latest achievements of IBM's open computing technology. The cloud is based on POWER processors, with FPGAs and GPUs to provide heterogeneous acceleration service, and uses OpenStack to manage the whole cloud. SuperVessel is divided into online "labs" where users can access open source software, build and test applications and share experiences and best practices. The labs include Big Data, Internet of Things, acceleration and virtualization on POWER.

An industry-focused application developed on SuperVessel is Tongji University's ProteinGoggle project, which aims at examining protein sequences to better understand human health. Another example is the analysis and optimization of the Chongqing subway system on SuperVessel, a project developed by the Chongqing University.

"With the SuperVessel open computing platform, students can experience cutting-edge technologies and turn their fancy ideas into reality. It also helps make our teaching content closer to real life," said Tsinghua University faculty member Wei XU. "We want to make better use of SuperVessel in many areas, such as on-line education."

SuperVessel, in collaboration with OpenPOWER partners, provides a unique innovation environment for heterogeneous computing.

"Xilinx is delighted to have been chosen as the provider of FPGA accelerators for the IBM-developed SuperVessel cloud service," said Hemant Dhulla, vice president of data center and wired communications of Xilinx. "FPGA-based compute acceleration is a critical part of the OpenPOWER Foundation vision to handle demanding workloads in the most cost and power-efficient way. For this reason, a CAPI-enabled Xilinx FPGA is attached to every IBM POWER8 node in the SuperVessel cloud. The research and development being done in SuperVessel is helping to define the future of heterogeneous computing."

"SuperVessel is a significant contribution by IBM Research and Development to OpenPOWER," said Terri Virnig, IBM vice president of power ecosystem and strategy. "Combining advanced technologies from IBM R&D labs and business partners, SuperVessel is becoming the industry's leading OpenPOWER research and development environment. It is a way IBM commits to and supports OpenPOWER ecosystem development, talent growth and research innovation."


This article was originally posted “IBM Launches ‘SuperVessel’” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.