The decision to install Xserve G5's in place of the existing Power Mac G5s in Virginia Tech's world famous supercomputer may open more doors for Apple.

The decision to do so "will make the installation more attractive to the federal agencies and organizations negotiating with the university for its novel supercomputer technology", reports TechWeb.

It appears that both the university and Apple have received a number of enquiries from federal agencies interested in building their own installations. They are also interested in employing software built by project leader, assistant professor of computer science Srinidhi Varadarajan. The software, Déjà Vu, helps manage a fault tolerant environment in the cluster.

The report adds that employing the Xserves will reduce the space required to house the cluster to 1,000 from 3,000 square feet. And the G5s will all "find a happy home".

Federal agencies interested in building similar supercomputers include: the Argonne National Lab, the National Security Agency, and NASA.

Apple will exhibit at the US government's Federal Office SYSTEMS Expo (FOSE) March 23-25, 2004 in Washington. The show "is designed to help government and industry come together to discuss the technology, issues, and developments of the day".

Apple signed up new government-oriented reseller PC Mall Gov in April last year. It is a government-focused reseller, and added Apple's products to its General Services Administration contract.