IBM has opened a new high-capacity data centre in Montpellier quoting increased demand for super-computing services. Only one other exists in Poughkeepsie, New York.

The Deep Computing Capacity On Demand Center in France provides access, via the Internet, to a range of powerful, secure IBM supercomputers.

The announcement comes just a day after the company revealed a new partnership with Cisco that would see its switches slotting into IBM chassis. The Montpellier center will run on IBM eServer pSeries AIX or Linux servers and xSeries systems running Linux or Windows with disk storage, but IBM failed to say whether Cisco fitted in with that.

IBM recently expanded the Poughkeepsie center to include more than 2,300 IBM xSeries Intel Xeon processor, eServer AMD Opteron processor and BladeCenter systems, it said.

IBM chose Montpellier because the company already has a huge mainframe and Unix computer center in the city, according to company spokesman Hans-Jürgen Rehm. "We also have extensive consulting expertise there," he said.

Big Blue is targeting its supercomputer power-on-tap services at companies in industries with high data processing requirements, such as petroleum, life sciences, digital animation and financial services, it said.

One of the first to use the new Montpellier facility will be Mentor Graphics, IBM said. The hardware and software design company is currently testing its new Calibre design-to-silicon platform in the Poughkeepsie facility.

IBM said the new French supercomputer service center and the US facility launched last year will enable customers to easily tap into massive amounts of supercomputing power to meet urgent business demands and pay for this capacity on a variable cost basis, avoiding large up-front capital outlays and long-term fixed IT costs.

Big Blue also plans to implement grid technologies to enable resource sharing within and across the two new supercomputing service centers. More info can be found at www.research.ibm.com/dci.