The Hewlett-Packard Co. and Linux clustering software vendor Linux NetworX Inc. are joining their efforts to offer powerful HP server clusters linked together with specialized management applications.In an announcement yesterday, HP said it will sell its 64-bit Intel Itanium 2-based servers and 32-bit Intel-based ProLiant series servers fully configured with Linux NetworX ClusterWorX software for a wide range of high performance computing applications."They have great clustering software," said Judy Chavis, HP's worldwide Linux server director. "It\ufffds exactly why this is a great partnership."The two companies had previously worked on a partnership deal with the clustering software and ProLiant servers before HP's merger with the former Compaq Computer Corp., she said, but the earlier deal was not a success because Linux had not yet reached the mainstream in business computing.Under the new partnership, HP will offer the clustering software as well as services with its hardware, and Linux NetworX will offer HP hardware pre-configured with its software, as well as its existing Evolocity Linux cluster servers. The systems are available immediately. Pricing depends on specific configurations and needs.Typical users for cluster supercomputer technologies include businesses from the pharmaceutical industry to aerospace, oil and gas exploration, engineering, film animation, banking, universities and government research laboratories.Both companies have a deep background in high performance supercomputer clusters, with HP having the highest number of systems on the Top500 supercomputer list, while Linux NetworX and HP have both designed and built clusters that rank among the 10 fastest supercomputers in the world, according to the companies.Dean Hutchings, the chief operating officer for Salt Lake City-based Linux NetworX, said the deal with HP gives his company a much larger global presence and marketplace for their applications and services. "For HP, it gives them ... a state-of-the-art clustering management product to keep their customers managing their clusters more efficiently and more effectively," he said.ClusterWorX supports Red Hat Linux 7.3 and is being readied to work with the recent Red Hat 8.0 operating system, Hutchings said.Stephen Hill, president and CEO of Linux NetworX, said in a statement that the partnership will help clustering lose some of its mystique and gain broader use."By making comprehensive Linux cluster tools like ClusterWorX more widely available to the [high performance computing] community, we believe this will further accelerate the adoption of Linux clusters - you no longer have to be an expert in Linux and clustering to take advantage of this industry-changing technology," Hill said.