The Pentagon has gone Linux. Well, it has bought a supercomputer from Linux Networx.

The Defense Department has ordered a high-performance 2,132-CPU Linux cluster supercomputer as part of an IT modernization program. Linux Networx said the Evolocity II cluster will be used by the Army Research Laboratory Major Shared Resource Center (MSRC) as part of the Defense Department's High Performance Computing Modernization Program.

The supercomputer will be used to increase research capabilities, said Charles Nietubicz, acting deputy director of the computational and information sciences directorate at the Army Research Laboratory. The machine will be used for weapons research, including calculating weapons projections, simulating weather and battle survivability, he said. It will also be used by the lab to develop new technology for future use by the US military.

The lab looked at several bids from supercomputer vendors and selected Linux Networx after an extensive review, Nietubicz said. "The Linux Networx system gave us the best choice for what we wanted to do," he surmised.

The system, scheduled to be completed by the middle of the year, will consist of 1,066 nodes, each equipped with two Intel Xeon 3.6GHz processors and 1GB of memory per CPU. The system will use Intel's 64-bit extension technologies. Linux Networx is also scheduled to deliver five other cluster systems to other Defense Department agencies later this year.

The cost of the systems is not being disclosed.

"Linux Networx has proven that cluster technology is reliable, robust and mature enough to be selected in even in the most demanding environment," Thomas Kendall, lead systems engineer at the Army Research Lab said in a statement. "This system will be a key component of the lab and the entire DOD Modernization Program."