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Print 15 comment(s) - last by peternelson.. on Nov 7 at 8:34 PM

New supercomputer platform

IBM today announced its new System Cluster 1350. The new System Cluster 1350 is fully scalable up to 1,024 nodes. IBM is marketing the System Cluster 1350 as the ideal choice for building a supercomputer. Target markets of the System Cluster 1350 include financial services, industrial, petroleum, life sciences and research.

IBM touts the System Cluster 1350 as: “The IBM System Cluster 1350 provides clients with an arsenal of technologies to tackle the challenges of high performance computing environments, while reducing the complexity and risk of configuring, deploying and managing Linux clusters,” said Wendy McGee, director, IBM Cluster Solutions. “We’ve collaborated with leading-edge processor, accelerator and networking companies to provide clients unprecedented levels of speed, choice and flexibility with this offering.”

As the System Cluster 1350 includes clustering technologies, it’s fully compatible with various IBM products. On the server side of things, IBM multi-core rack mount server’s model x3550, x3650, x3455, x3655, x3755 Intel and AMD based servers. Power 5 servers models p5-505/505Q, p5-510/510Q, p5-550/550Q are compatible too. In addition to traditional rack mount servers the System Cluster 1350 supports IBM Blade Servers models HS21, JS21, LS21, LS41 and QS20 as well.

Since clusters require a high-speed interconnect the IBM System Cluster 1350 supports the latest networking technologies including 10 Gigabit, Gigabit and 10/100 Ethernet protocols. Infiniband 1x and 4x protocols are also supported for up to 10-20 Gigabit data transfer rates. Myrinet is also supported with the System Cluster 1350.

Additionally the System Cluster 1350 is also the first cluster to support QLogic’s HTx adapter powered by PathScale’s InfiniPath HyperMessaging architecture for greater performance improvements. ClearSpeed Advance PCI-X based accelerators are also available in System Cluster 1350 compatible servers. Multiple ClearSpeed Advance PCI-X cards can be installed for linear performance improvements.

IBM’s first customer for its System Cluster 1350 is the Indiana University. Once home to the world’s 23rd fastest supercomputer named Big Red, the Indiana University has replaced Big Red with a System Cluster 1350 cluster. Computing power of the new System Cluster 1350 based cluster is 20.4 trillion numerical operations a second—up from Big Red’s 20 billion.

The IBM System Cluster 1350 is available immediately. Pricing highly varies depending on the configuration.



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Must buy 3-4
By slickr on 11/7/2006 9:09:29 AM , Rating: 1
Woow, just what i was looking for. Flexible and powerful super computer. How much does it cost anyways, i'm not planing throwing 90.000 euros again for a super computer!




RE: Must buy 3-4
By h0kiez on 11/7/2006 10:52:00 AM , Rating: 2
I have no idea how much it costs...but it ain't 90,000 Euros. Try adding some zeros.


RE: Must buy 3-4
By slickr on 11/7/2006 4:44:27 PM , Rating: 1
hmmm, well i don't know how much they cost now. Back in 1997 super computer model GZH 5600 costed me 90.000 though i got a discount for being their first customer and ordering 4 super computers.


RE: Must buy 3-4
By lemonadesoda on 11/7/2006 8:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
1./ Never heard of it

2./ There were no euros in 1997

3./ Are you on your own Fliegende Untertasse, or just borrowing it? http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/UFO



First useful comment
By Crazyeyeskillah on 11/7/2006 1:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
Computers like this are bought by the government and defense department. They replace things like the need to test nuclear weapons by creating variables accurate to life that can be tested and built without ever having to detonate a questionable weapon at all. Think about the people that have the most money to spend, and the most to gain from having a technical upper hand. In the medical community, powerful machines like this are giving researchers years of advancements in minutes, by analyzing genetic configurations, variations, and oddities. Products like this can replace "folding at home" type systems to increase security of information, and to give more control to the actual researchers in a more timely fashion.

I just wish we could see things like the secret 'aurora' plane that our government has, think UFO's biotch!




RE: First useful comment
By peternelson on 11/7/2006 8:08:37 PM , Rating: 2
Might also be useful at solving the Valenzetti Equation. Hanso Foundation should fund several for this purpose ;-) They likely do not appear in the top500 list because of the secretive nature of the Dharma Initiative project.

Cluster-based supercomputers are great for many computational applications.

However because of the need for good low latency inter-processor comms, the price per processor or node is relatively high compared to a lot of PCs.

For trivially parallelisable projects which do not require lots of interprocess comms (eg LL primality testing like prime95) it is MUCH more cost effective to just use a pile of COTS (commodity) PCs where price per processor is low.

So depending on your type of application, a supercomputer could be either good value or a waste of money.

I'd likely be interested in IBM's low end cluster systems, but the lack of precise pricing is always a turn-off for me.

Also unless they already use EE (amd energy efficient) or Quadcore (Intel Kentsfield and co) it is likely worth waiting to get better price/performance and running cost effectiveness. And naturally all such processors should be and run in 64 bit mode.


RE: First useful comment
By peternelson on 11/7/2006 8:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, the article mentions Clearspeed PCI-X boards, whereas Clearspeed will shortly launch a PCI-EXPRESS version of their boards which will offer better performance.

If intending to go with the acceleration tech I'd prefer PCI-E.


Folding @ Home
By protosv on 11/7/2006 3:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
A system such as this would be indispensable for advanced physics calculations, bioinformatics, and other scientific/medical applications. As for projects like Folding@Home, Grid.org's Ligandfit and Find-a-Drug, those projects are best left to distributed computing models. Those types of problems are easily divided into small "work-units" which can be distributed to multiple clients all over the world. However many physics/biological/military calculations can't be split up in such a fashion, and so this cluster would be perfect. On another note, does anyone know what type of system IBM's Bluegene cluster is?




RE: Folding @ Home
By peternelson on 11/7/2006 8:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
What type of system "Bluegene" is?

A BIG one!

http://www.research.ibm.com/bluegene/index.html

NB see also www.top500.org list for ranking.


Huh?
By bupkus on 11/7/2006 6:44:09 AM , Rating: 1
Look, I'm not gonna pretend I understand what this thing is, but since I can't sleep I'd like to comment about a few things: that perhaps there's a great deal more we can get out of our processors beyond the "increase frequency tack." Since all the subsystems of clustering improve, and clustering itself is advancing, sure, it's gonna provide faster, cheaper predictions/solutions and I like the sound of that... assuming technology can help solve our problems.
This link and reference to Cell technology fascinates me; how Sony can blaze a trail with a hi-tech toy that will bear fruit in cluster technology. As Carson would say, "Wild crazy stuff."




RE: Huh?
By peternelson on 11/7/2006 8:34:03 PM , Rating: 2
Cell is one possible development. Although PS3 is near launch, you can buy a dual cell blade for use in IBM bladeserver chassis now for only around $20K+

Clearly you would obtain more cell processors just by buying 3 PS3 consoles and networking them over gigabit ether running linux.

So a DIY cell cluster is likely possible and more cost efficient at the moment (except for $2000 ps3 prices on ebay LOL).

The idea of blade servers is a way to get a lot of processors in a small space with reduced cooling overhead and improved serviceability and manageability. Likely these cluster systems have similar features.

You can mix and match cell, x86 and ppc architectures by putting different blades into your blade chassis.

If you just want lots of mini-processors, Clearspeeds CSX600 has 96 of their cores in it.


yup
By ixelion on 11/7/2006 8:34:58 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Look, I'm not gonna pretend I understand what this thing is


Let me explain it to you: It lets them get to pr0n really really fast.




RE: yup
By peternelson on 11/7/2006 8:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about that, but it could be quite good as a multi-threaded SERVER for web images of all kinds ;-)

N.B. you can only download as fast as someone can serve it up to you.


Nomenclature
By ajadler on 11/7/2006 8:45:21 AM , Rating: 2
One small note: it's Indiana University, not "the University of Indiana."

best from Louisville (not too far from Bloomington),

aa.




Appropriately named
By Fnoob on 11/7/2006 8:54:55 AM , Rating: 2
In my experience, just about anything from IBM will turn out to be a 'cluster'....




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