Silicon Graphics (SGI) is set to unveil a new product line designed to make it easier for users with medium-sized computing needs to set up clusters of the company's Altix 350 servers.

Called the Altix 1350 clusters, the systems will be based on SGI's Altix 350 servers. They will be pre-configured with the management, networking and storage technology required to cluster them. The company said that customers will be able to cluster as many as 32 Itanium 2 processors into a single Altix 350 compute node.

The product, which will be launched next week, can be pre-configured with a variety of clustering technologies, including Platform Computing's LSF workload processing software, Voltaire's Voltaire Vision network management software and the InfiniBand interconnect standard.

SGI will also announce a product called the Altix Hybrid Cluster, which allows customers to create clusters that combine SGI's 64-bit Altix systems with servers based on 32-bit processors.

A number of other vendors have created cluster packages similar to the Altix 1350 in order to simplify the difficult and time-consuming process of integrating a large number of servers into a single clustered system. Hewlett-Packard Co., for example, has been shipping its HP Cluster Platform since 2003.

Though SGI has had success selling very large Altix clusters, most notably a 10,240-processor system it built for the National Aeronautical and Space Administration last year, it is important that SGI also find a way to sell smaller systems, said Gordon Haff, a senior analyst with Illuminata, as companies typically end up selling more to the midrange," he said.