Australian Dept. of Defense Buys Xserve Cluster, Runs Tiger

Australiais Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that its countryis Department of Defense last month signed a US$90,000 contract for an Xserve cluster node that will be running Mac OS X v10.4 "Tiger." According to the article, the Australian government is already using a cluster of G4 and G5 Xserves that run various types of chess simulations between different software agents as a way to test different war scenarios.

Dr. Michael Webb, who is in charge of the group using the computers, told author Rob OiNeill that the chess simulations utilize such variations as different AI strengths, pieces hidden from opponents and the ability to make more than one move during a turn. He said that Appleis computers are used because theyire "grunty" and indicated that Tigeris improved Java environment will improve the now-doubled clusteris performance.

The article also relays comments from an IDC Asia-Pacific senior analyst who told Mr. OiNeill that Appleis share of the server market in that area of the world more than doubled between the second half of 2003 and the same period in 2004.