Watson Supercomputer to Compete on "Jeopardy!" -- Powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on IBM POWER7

IBM utilizes SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on DeepQA software to power Watson’s high-performance computing capabilities

2 February 2011

“THE OPERATING SYSTEM USED BY IBM’S WATSON SUPERCOMPUTER.” In the context of TV quiz show “Jeopardy!”, this is the answer the host would give to the contestants. The question the host would seek? “What is SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server?”

Watson, a supercomputer developed by IBM, will test its trivia skills on “Jeopardy!” in an upcoming competition against past champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. The showdown will take place in a two-day tournament airing on the syndicated program between Feb. 14 and 16. Containing more than 200 million digital pages of information and operating at a speed of over 80 teraflops in its digital “brain,” Watson uses a combination of deep analytics and rapid processing speeds that can interpret the types of “natural language” questions used in the long-running game show.

IBM’s DeepQA software, which runs on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, on 10 racks of IBM Power 750 servers, powers the technology for those contestants who appear on “Jeopardy!” The POWER7® platform is known for its ability to meet high-performance, high-capacity and near-linear scaling. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the fastest operating system on IBM POWER7, based on recent SPEC benchmarks, and thus a natural choice for IBM’s DeepQA software powering Watson.

Since 1993, SUSE Linux Enterprise engineers have made significant contributions to the advancement and tuning of the Linux kernel and key kernel-related performance technologies. With advanced memory management, new processor support, unmatched performance on systems with multicore processors, Native POSIX Thread Library (NPTL) and advanced multipathing and I/O capabilities, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is the clear choice for high-performance computing systems. It outperforms competitive systems in performance and scalability for large-scale server deployments, on industry standard blades and servers, mid-range systems and on high-end mainframes.

“Watson’s ‘Jeopardy!’ appearance is a remarkable event in the history of Linux and a landmark accomplishment within the 20-year technical partnership between IBM and Novell,” said Markus Rex, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions at Novell. “Watson’s ability to compete head-to-head with human contestants showcases just how powerful, sophisticated and versatile the SUSE Linux Enterprise platform is. We very much look forward to seeing its capabilities in action when the episodes air later this month.”

Watson’s “Jeopardy!” appearance serves as further validation of the advantages of Linux* in high-performance computing environments, as Linux has long been regarded as the operating system of choice among the fastest and most complex environments in the world. In the latest Top 500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, 459 are running Linux and six of the top 10 systems are based on SUSE Linux Enterprise or a derivative of it.

To learn more about SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for high-performance computing, visit www.suse.com/products/server/.


About Novell
Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL), a leader in intelligent workload management, helps organizations securely deliver and manage computing services across physical, virtual and cloud computing environments. We help customers reduce the cost, complexity, and risk associated with their IT systems through our solutions for identity and security, systems management, collaboration and Linux-based operating platforms. With our infrastructure software and ecosystem of partnerships, Novell integrates mixed IT environments, allowing people and technology to work as one. For more information, visit www.novell.com.

Copyright © 2011 Novell, Inc. All rights reserved. Novell, the Novell logo, the N logo and SUSE are registered trademarks of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. *All third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Certain versions of content ("Material") accessible here may contain branding from Hewlett-Packard Company (now HP Inc.) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company. As of September 1, 2017, the Material is now offered by Micro Focus, a separately owned and operated company. Any reference to the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HPE marks is historical in nature, and the HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HPE marks are the property of their respective owners.