Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital has established a supercomputing facility
in Wellington which will be rented out to clients worldwide. The New
Zealand Supercomputing Centre ranks 80th on the
list of the world’s 500 most powerful computers and is the largest
supercomputing cluster available for commercial hire in the southern
The supercomputer comprises 504 IBM blade servers, each
of which contains two 2.8 Gigahertz Intel Xeon processors, 6 Gigabytes of
memory and 40 Gigabytes of storage. Weta originally purchased the blades to
create the special effects for The Lord of the Rings trilogy and together
they are capable of performing 2.8 trillion calculations per second. [Via: NewsScan Daily who received it from John Lamp, Deakin U. (The
Age, 8 Sep 2004). ]
Hmmm, 40 Gigabytes of storage seems pathetic — my Powerbook has a bigger hard drive than that. I suspect that number should be a lot bigger, but after checking various news reports they all have the same information. It seems the centre is expected to be used for tasks such as computer-aided engineering and economic and financial modeling.
Update: Each Blade server contains 40 Gbs of storage equalling 20 terabytes of local storage. Source: gen-i.