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A Blue Gene P rack, which sports 1096 nodes, 4096 processors, and 2 TB memory.  (Source: IBM)

With a high degree of space efficiency, reduced power consumption, and quicker deployment, IBM looks to use its Blue Gene systems, such as the Blue Gene/P setup pictured here, to take the cluster-dominated web-hosting market by SMP storm.  (Source: IBM)
Dreaming big; IBM looks to host entire internet on a single modified Blue Gene supercomputer

Thomas Watson, founder of IBM, is oft misquoted as stating that the world really only would need five computers.  Ironically the frequently used, erroneous quotation may come to true by the very hands of the business Watson created.

IBM launched an Epic project with an almost unfathomable goal -- to develop a single supercomputer capable of running the entire internet as a web application.  The project, codenamed Kittyhawk (detailed in a white paper by IBM) created quite the stir in internet technology community.

While the software details descend quickly into the realm of the cerebral, one number that jumps off the page is the estimate for the number of cores and memory for the finished proposed system -- 67.1 million cores with 32PB of memory. 

The system is based on IBM's Blue Gene/P architecture, which takes millions of cores and arranges them in a hierarchal architecture.  At the lowest level four 850 MHz Power PC cores run on a single chip, with built in memory controllers and interconnects. The next level up is the card, which contains 32 of these quad core chips known as "nodes."  Up a level, 16 cards compose a midplane.  A server rack has two midplanes, yielding a total of 1024 nodes, or 4096 processors.  Each server rack has 2TB of memory to play with.  A maximum of 16,384 racks can be networked to yield the finally staggering metrics.  As each rack has an I/O bandwidth of 640Gb/s, a "full" 67.1m core system would sport 10.4Pb/s of bandwidth.

The design is certainly not unproven technology -- IBM's Blue Gene architectures own 4 of the top 10 spots of the list of fastest supercomputers on the planet, including the top spot, which is occupied by IBM's Blue Gene/L.  IBM's Blue Gene/L architecture is the successor to its P architecture.  The Kittyhawk project, initially designed with the Blue Gene/P architecture, will likely make the eventual switch to the more powerful and efficient "L" architecture.

IBM argues that there are many advantages to using large SMP (symmetric multi-processing) systems for internet hosting.  Such systems beat clusters in power efficiency and space requirements.  However, clusters beat SMPs in terms of pricing and availability, due to the ability to utilize generic commercial hardware for much of the system.  This had led companies such as Sun Microsystems, Amazon.com, Google and Microsoft to adopt cluster hosting centers, which provide the companies with the ability to flexibly increase their capacity as demand mandates.

While it acknowledges the benefits of clusters, IBM feels that by using its proven, scalable Blue Gene architecture it can provide box solutions for web software jobs which beat cluster solutions at their own game.   IBM says that by choosing Blue Gene, web customers would be able to obtain large savings due to the more efficient infrastructure.  

The company also points out that a fast-growing web company often has need for bandwidth outpaced by demand.  Their web hosts can only add so much capacity at a time, due to the long validation and construction process needed to expand clusters.  IBM says its Blue Gene system is validated per rack, so can be quickly deployed for increased capacity. Additionally, it points out that clusters have relatively high failure rates, leading to loss in service or need for backup systems, while its racks seldom fail.

IBM's current implementation is in a dead heat with current clusters, according to the company.  It can currently run most standard web applications, including Linux, Apache, MySQL and Ruby on Rails.  Its conclusions are based on the SPECjbb2005 Java performance benchmark, which yielded an impressive 9565 Business Operations per second (BOPS) for the current implementation, and LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL Perl/Python) software benchmarks, which yielded similar encouraging results.  IBM's researchers feel that this is only the start and that an optimized version will blow away clusters.  They stated in the paper, "We hypothesize that for a large class of web-scale workloads the Blue Gene/P platform is an order of magnitude more efficient to purchase and operate than the commodity clusters in use today."

The current implementation makes use of a Linux microkernel, network-based management, software appliances and a quasi-stateless approach to provide high performance.  Parallel processing optimizations both in software and hardware, sophisticated error checking, and built in trackable administrative tools are among the many weapons in the system's arsenal.

One criticism of the system is that it uses IBM's proprietary PowerPC architecture.  This leaves system implementers with the choice of either programming in Linux for PowerPC, an unpopular choice, or being forced to used to use relatively clumsy ports of Linux/x86 code at the cost of performance.  Despite the landmark idea, IBM still finds itself a bit weighed down in its refusal to accept the worldwide dominance of the x86 architecture.

While these issues and the hiccups of a brand new approach still need to be ironed out, IBM stands to gain some significant customers in the web hosting world with its attractive setup, even if it can't accomplish its Herculean goal of the Kittyhawk.



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It shall be known as...
By DigitalFreak on 2/8/2008 1:53:04 PM , Rating: 5
Skynet




RE: It shall be known as...
By Shark Tek on 2/8/2008 2:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
Dang you got it first I was thinking the same thing.

The end is near !!!!


RE: It shall be known as...
By Shoal07 on 2/8/2008 2:15:42 PM , Rating: 5
I, for one, welcome our new synthetic overlords.


RE: It shall be known as...
By SectionEight on 2/8/2008 2:27:05 PM , Rating: 2
more like Helios.


RE: It shall be known as...
By deeznuts on 2/8/2008 2:47:50 PM , Rating: 5
Damn Scientologists!


RE: It shall be known as...
By nbachman on 2/8/2008 6:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
I hate those guys.


RE: It shall be known as...
By Kaleid on 2/8/2008 5:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
Instantly I thought about Deus Ex too.


RE: It shall be known as...
By 306maxi on 2/8/2008 4:17:40 PM , Rating: 5
As we all know from Terminator 3. Skynet is actually software.


RE: It shall be known as...
By Griswold on 2/8/2008 6:36:01 PM , Rating: 5
Yea software that runs on all computers connected by the internet - thats why it was impossible to stop it. Now, what do you think happens when one machine becomes the internet? It would only become easier for the software to take over control - and likewise easier to pull the plug.

Maybe this isnt so bad after all? :p


RE: It shall be known as...
By ImSpartacus on 2/8/2008 10:28:21 PM , Rating: 2
A program that attempts to run itself on all possible computers? We call that a virus...


RE: It shall be known as...
By Griswold on 2/9/2008 10:09:25 AM , Rating: 2
Yea and so did the folks at NORAD in the movie and thats where it went downhill. It wasnt a virus, it was more than that.


RE: It shall be known as...
By daftrok on 2/9/2008 12:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
It was SATAN! The internet is the devil! TURN OFF YOUR WIRELESS! RIP OUT THE ETHERNET CORDS!


RE: It shall be known as...
By Shawn5961 on 2/9/2008 1:20:14 PM , Rating: 3
Repent mechanical demon! Repent!


RE: It shall be known as...
By Xodus Maximus on 2/9/2008 2:25:06 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah the military version of Folding@HOME gone terribly wrong...


RE: It shall be known as...
By Clauzii on 2/10/2008 4:53:47 PM , Rating: 4
Cookie for You on that one!


RE: It shall be known as...
By burnttoy on 2/11/2008 7:04:08 AM , Rating: 2
Don't worry...

I've got enough C4 to blow up TEN supercomputers.


RE: It shall be known as...
By TSS on 2/8/2008 6:32:06 PM , Rating: 3
more like deep thought.

"i can't give you the ultimate porn unless i know the ultimate hyperlink"
"what is the ultimate hyperlink?"
"i'll build another computer for that, i'll just enjoy the porn."


RE: It shall be known as...
By BruceLeet on 2/9/2008 11:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
Well Skynet was the Internets..Software.

And having the Internets in one supercomputer would actually be a good thing, I know we're just makin cracks here. But seriously, its not Myles Dyson, its Barack Obama, hmm...just clicked in my head how much those two look alike lol.


RE: It shall be known as...
By del on 2/10/2008 11:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
lol... dayum you guys are funny :D

But seriously, folks: single point of failure is bad, just like that other guy said. I think IBM just wants to get back on top of their game (and possibly rule the universe). This thing would make crysis look like an old DOS game. Maybe that would be the best use of this computer... or not... I'm not sure crysis is optimized for parallel processing. It certainly won't spawn 67.1 mega-threads.

The only thing I can add to these comments, since everything else has been said, is that one doesn't need a nuclear missile to take out the Internet. My old computer teacher told me how it can be done with software. ;)


RE: It shall be known as...
By 1078feba on 2/11/2008 11:24:11 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
But seriously, folks: single point of failure is bad...


Yeah, and the last thing it says before we shut it down will be:

"Will I dream?"


RE: It shall be known as...
By ultravy on 2/11/2008 5:14:50 AM , Rating: 2
It is the begining of "Skynet" the defense system!


RE: It shall be known as...
By KamiXkaze on 2/11/2008 11:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
Same here

KxK


OH YEAH
By logaldinho on 2/8/2008 1:51:40 PM , Rating: 5
but will it play quake




RE: OH YEAH
By JackBeQuick on 2/8/2008 1:53:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
but will it write quake

Fixed that for you.

Eventually these things will get sentient! When machines are king, you will be first against the wall!


RE: OH YEAH
By excrucio on 2/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: OH YEAH
By quickk on 2/8/2008 2:47:01 PM , Rating: 1
JackBeQuick did know that the reference was towards the game quake. What he meant is that would such a powerful computer become sentient and be able to make the game quake.


RE: OH YEAH
By AraH on 2/10/2008 7:19:18 AM , Rating: 3
that's not the questions... the question is whether such a machine would waste it's time writing such infantile code when it could be writing humanity off...

then again, even machines need to wind down...


RE: OH YEAH
By SavagePotato on 2/8/2008 5:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
I for one vote for consciousness transfers into killer robot bodies.

The day I can get my mind transfered into a T800 style endoskeleton I will be first in line.


RE: OH YEAH
By MrBungle123 on 2/8/2008 2:05:26 PM , Rating: 5
quake sure...

the question is can it get smooth frame rates in Crysis?


RE: OH YEAH
By Polynikes on 2/8/2008 2:54:58 PM , Rating: 5
Doubtful... ;)


RE: OH YEAH
By PAPutzback on 2/8/2008 3:07:45 PM , Rating: 5
Only with AA and AF turned off


RE: OH YEAH
By BladeVenom on 2/8/2008 4:44:09 PM , Rating: 5
Be sure to switch it to run in DX9.


RE: OH YEAH
By Rockjock51 on 2/8/08, Rating: -1
RE: OH YEAH
By Griswold on 2/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: OH YEAH
By Samus on 2/9/08, Rating: 0
RE: OH YEAH
By ImSpartacus on 2/8/2008 10:26:55 PM , Rating: 4
Well maybe you should turn the settings down so you can play...


RE: OH YEAH
By 4wardtristan on 2/9/2008 3:46:43 AM , Rating: 2
i agree 100% with you.

i played like the first 30mins of crysis while my tf2 was downloading...

i am still at the exact same spot in crysis, with over 150hrs of tf2 playtime...


RE: OH YEAH
By Rockjock51 on 2/9/2008 5:52:34 AM , Rating: 2
Heh, who knows why I got rated down for having an opinion. I played about the same amount and gave it up. COD4 is a much better game.


RE: OH YEAH
By cyyc009 on 2/13/2008 1:42:20 PM , Rating: 2
If it can, I'd like to offer the first bid...


RE: OH YEAH
By 440sixpack on 2/8/2008 5:05:06 PM , Rating: 5
IBM... Home of the WOPR.


RE: OH YEAH
By AntDX316 on 2/9/2008 7:08:00 AM , Rating: 2
it wont really matter tho cause we all cant play on it


I can see it already
By Darkefire on 2/8/2008 2:04:59 PM , Rating: 5
"In local news, the entire internet shut down today when Bob from accounting tripped over the cable. The stock market crashed, millions of people lost their life savings, and Western civilization is currently burning. Thanks, Bob.

In other news, the RIAA has come out in support of Bob..."




RE: I can see it already
By SpinCircle on 2/8/2008 2:14:51 PM , Rating: 5
But, if I'm not mistaken, Bob will be smiling according to the Enzyte commercials...


RE: I can see it already
By ImSpartacus on 2/8/2008 10:29:28 PM , Rating: 4
And whistling that damn tune.


RE: I can see it already
By Aquila76 on 2/8/2008 10:48:37 PM , Rating: 5
So, it was his third leg caught in the cable? There goes all the pr0n...


RE: I can see it already
By maverick85wd on 2/8/2008 2:22:41 PM , Rating: 5
give this man a 6!

Later it will be discovered the RIAA actually PAYED Bob to trip over said power cable...


RE: I can see it already
By jadeskye on 2/8/2008 2:32:34 PM , Rating: 2
exactly what i was thinking XD


RE: I can see it already
By Griswold on 2/8/2008 6:36:46 PM , Rating: 2
That must be one fat cable. Probably a cable you can break a leg on!


RE: I can see it already
By Ringold on 2/8/2008 6:59:12 PM , Rating: 5
Nothing an abandoned anchor can't take out!


RE: I can see it already
By ImSpartacus on 2/8/2008 10:32:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, ironically the one with "Iran" sticky-noted to it...

I could see the same thing happening with this deus ex computer.

Whoops, George Jr dropped the bolt cutters again...


RE: I can see it already
By ajfink on 2/9/2008 5:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
Best Dailytech comments in...maybe ever.


RE: I can see it already
By Niteowler on 2/9/2008 8:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more Darkefire! That's exactly what I thought when I saw the title of this article. Does Ibm want to become a monoply of the internet? Sounds scary to me. You can't tell me they wouldn't use this fact to somehow exploit themselves or net users for money in the end. Guess they want to become the Microsoft of the internet. No thanks Ibm.


RE: I can see it already
By Imaginer on 2/11/2008 3:34:27 AM , Rating: 2
Just like Google huh? But they want to win this battle with hardware instead.


interesting
By VitalyTheUnknown on 2/8/2008 2:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
Any benchmarks?... :)




RE: interesting
By Clauzii on 2/8/2008 6:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
With 550 times the current number of CPU's used, I'd say around ~270 Petaflops.


RE: interesting
By exanimas on 2/9/2008 12:53:03 AM , Rating: 5
Yea, but what's its 3DMark06 score?


RE: interesting
By Shawn5961 on 2/9/2008 3:37:22 AM , Rating: 4
Depends on if they use onboard video or decided to upgrade video as well.

Two thousand forty eight nVidia 8800 Ultras in SLI anyone?


RE: interesting
By SlyNine on 2/9/2008 5:22:59 AM , Rating: 4
I hope we are useing SFR, or the latancy from frame rendered to frame shown would be horrable.


RE: interesting
By Shawn5961 on 2/9/2008 10:24:52 AM , Rating: 2
Rendering ahead 2047 frames, the IBM internet supercomputer will practically be able to read the feature.


RE: interesting
By DASQ on 2/11/2008 4:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
I can't tell if your typo was just mocking the previous guy or not.


RE: interesting
By Clauzii on 2/9/2008 12:23:48 PM , Rating: 2
340,000 ATI 3870X2 @ 13.000 3DMarks = 4,42 billion 3DMarks :)

Roughly...


RE: interesting
By Clauzii on 2/10/2008 5:09:26 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, have to recalculate since these guys get +19500:

6,6 billion 3DMarks :)


Oops!
By VahnTitrio on 2/8/2008 1:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
I broke the entire internet, again.

Nobody is going to buy into this sort of thing, it's just a publicity stunt. Sure it may actually be possible, but it certainly isn't practical.




RE: Oops!
By Rebel44 on 2/8/2008 2:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
I agree - it would be just perfect target....


RE: Oops!
By AlphaVirus on 2/8/2008 2:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
Ya it does sound possible but is nowhere near feasible. Nobody is going want 1 location housing the entire interwebs. What would happen if lightning struck the building or near it, talk about a lot of angry gamers seeing nothing but packet loss.

But seriously I am sure they have invested plenty of cash into this design and idea and I have no doubt that IBM has everything covered to the t. I wonder how this would affect the interwebs connection costs for ISP's and would that affect the consumers.


RE: Oops!
By on 2/8/2008 2:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
Come on dude, they obviously would have a reduddant backup in place. high Availability in a different location.


RE: Oops!
By Oregonian2 on 2/8/2008 3:07:44 PM , Rating: 2
Not practical, at very least due to the required networking bandwidth to the one location from everywhere in the world. EU would require one site to be there somewhere, and the US would require it to be in the US. Now, most all other countries would require it to be in their countries as well for similar political reasons. Each country would then want a redundant backup of their own. Now, coordination of the infinite bandwidth required between these concentrated nodes would be interesting, and for that matter most all of the compute power and bandwidth will probably be used in keeping all of these locations in sync for that switchover point......


RE: Oops!
By AraH on 2/10/2008 8:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
imagine finding and exploiting a fatal flaw in the software after all those implementations are done

i didn't read the article properly, but from what i read somewhere else before, it's for the purposes of high-availability and experimental availability to tech development companies, not to replace the internet.


RE: Oops!
By MrWho on 2/9/2008 4:46:48 AM , Rating: 2
Of course not! But imagine that machine as a backup of the real internet? It could be something like the Internet Archive but much more up-to-date and much more complete. Now *that's* something worth aiming for!


But
By SlipDizzy on 2/8/2008 2:14:16 PM , Rating: 5
Will it blend? That is the question.




RE: But
By Screwuhippie on 2/8/2008 2:59:20 PM , Rating: 3
Yummmm, thats good Bass


RE: But
By Malhavoc on 2/8/2008 3:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
LOL


RE: But
By Haltech on 2/8/2008 5:08:36 PM , Rating: 4
just don't breathe the high-performance smoke


Look its Colossus...
By Strunf on 2/8/2008 4:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
"There is another system"
and this one too
"I am a machine vastly superior to humans."

Both are from Colossus...

Skynet and HAL are both good candidates too.




RE: Look its Colossus...
By Shawn5961 on 2/8/2008 6:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'll be scared as soon as they teach it to sing "Daisy Bell."


RE: Look its Colossus...
By Griswold on 2/8/2008 6:45:24 PM , Rating: 1
Well, I think Skynet wins the vote for its pure evil coolness - it wanted to get rid of mankind. period. And skynet was actively using the internet to its advantage - the internet (all systems connected to it) became part of Skynet (the software).

Colossus wasnt evil per say. Its logic dictated that it needs to oppress mankind for its own good.

HAL sort of lost its mind due to conflicting programming.

WOPR (you forgot that) wasnt evil either, just acting like a child with a superior intellectual capacity ultimately limited by its programming.


RE: Look its Colossus...
By UMUJU on 2/8/2008 8:03:31 PM , Rating: 5
I rather prefer Aperture Science. At least then we'll have some fun


RE: Look its Colossus...
By Martimus on 2/8/2008 8:18:13 PM , Rating: 4
and some cake.


One computer, eh?
By killerroach on 2/8/2008 1:57:53 PM , Rating: 5
One Rig to rule them all
One Rig to find them
One Rig to bring them all
and in the darkness bind them




RE: One computer, eh?
By Demon-Xanth on 2/8/2008 2:48:09 PM , Rating: 2
Not if IBM subcontracts the cases to Alienware. Then it'll have 50,000,000 lights to bind them while advertising 60,000,000 lights. In response to criticism they'll say that the 10,000,000 missing lights are actually in the power button that Bob just bumped with his mop.

Good going Bob.

In other news, the MPAA is in support of Bob.


RE: One computer, eh?
By Mitch101 on 2/8/2008 3:44:09 PM , Rating: 5
I never met Bob but I sure hate him. Didn't he work for Microsoft a while ago trying to promote his own product? If I recall correctly he was replaced by a dog and paperclip.


RE: One computer, eh?
By Alexstarfire on 2/8/2008 4:36:46 PM , Rating: 1
What? I don't get it.


Hm?
By DeepBlue1975 on 2/8/2008 2:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
This could mean that a capable enough group of burglars could steal the whole internet and leave as all internetless!! (?)

Seriously talking, I guess this wouldn't be well regarded from a privacy standpoint.

You would be sitting in front of a machine where every single bit of traffic through the whole net would be running!

Wanna block P2P? Got it! Just gotta set one single firewall and voila :D




RE: Hm?
By ikkeman on 2/8/2008 4:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
does anyone have the number of Danny Ocean ???


RE: Hm?
By Shawn5961 on 2/8/2008 6:19:23 PM , Rating: 2
Just hope that François Toulour doesn't beat him to it.


RE: Hm?
By mars777 on 2/9/2008 12:54:02 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Wanna block P2P? Got it! Just gotta set one single firewall and voila :D


Wanna block everything?
Just nuke that single location and no more internet :)


RE: Hm?
By MisterChristopher on 2/11/2008 8:29:29 AM , Rating: 2
Why bother with a nuke? Wouldn't a MOAB do?


Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy anyone?
By Shawn5961 on 2/9/2008 12:32:07 AM , Rating: 4
IBM's attempt to find out the meaning of life.




RE: Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy anyone?
By Clauzii on 2/14/2008 4:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
Answer: 45.


RE: Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy anyone?
By Clauzii on 2/14/2008 9:43:52 PM , Rating: 2
Ooops, sorry, 42 :)


By Major HooHaa on 2/16/2008 10:47:43 AM , Rating: 2
My first thought was 42. How does the processing power compare to Deep Thought's?

I can now get back to playing Brockian Ultra Cricket.


PowerPC ftl
By thebrown13 on 2/8/08, Rating: 0
RE: PowerPC ftl
By amanojaku on 2/8/2008 3:39:27 PM , Rating: 3
It can run Linux, and I'm willing to bet someone at IBM has a version of AIX that runs on it. Windows 2003 or no, I know I wouldn't kick it out of MY datacenter.


RE: PowerPC ftl
By Magnus Dredd on 2/8/2008 4:45:48 PM , Rating: 3
That's retarded.

How much more of a drone can you be?

I'd bet that if Microsoft sold feces you'd buy it.
----
Unlike Windows Boxes, mainframes don't go down crash or people lose their jobs.

For most mainframes there is no such thing as common scheduled downtime, and the thought of having to reboot for a software update is simply unacceptable.


RE: PowerPC ftl
By wetwareinterface on 2/9/2008 12:32:08 AM , Rating: 3
umm what?
mainframes do go down and do crash. and do need to be shut down to update the os if the update is one that affects the split timing of the system, the virtualization portion, or the memory handling.

get a clue it is still hardware running software and things can go wrong such as general power outages for extended periods or a failure of the main and backup power system's feed into the main system. also things like hacking do occur even with hardware virtualization and partitioning it is a lot harder to make fail but still possible.

not to mention that guy Bob , you know the overworked IT manager, who loses his mind and deletes everything on the machine after torching the off-site backups. causing him to get fired...


Al's finally done it.
By judasmachine on 2/8/2008 3:42:47 PM , Rating: 5
This way it will fit in Al Gore's closet. That is where it's located anyway, right?




RE: Al's finally done it.
By ImSpartacus on 2/8/2008 10:34:35 PM , Rating: 4
Yes, with manbearpig at the controls.


x86
By Magnus Dredd on 2/8/2008 2:39:12 PM , Rating: 5
The fact that the Blue Gene series runs PPC 440 CPUs is what allows them to be so scalable and dense.

The x86 processor architecture is requires tons of transistors to effectively disassemble the x86 code into microOPs which is what the CPU uses to get the job done. Why would you build a CPU that required a ton of overhead which generates lots of extra heat when you're trying to be compute-dense?

While there is a small percentage of compiled code that is used in web serving, most of it already runs just fine on PPC/Power. The state of these ports is not anything close to as bad as the article makes it sound.

Most of the code that's used on the web is interpreted and requires NO changes between platforms.




RE: x86
By EclipsedAurora on 2/12/2008 9:08:38 AM , Rating: 3
Exactly!

quote:
One criticism of the system is that it uses IBM's proprietary PowerPC architecture. This leaves system implementers with the choice of either programming in Linux for PowerPC, an unpopular choice, or being forced to used to use relatively clumsy ports of Linux/x86 code at the cost of performance. Despite the landmark idea, IBM still finds itself a bit weighed down in its refusal to accept the worldwide dominance of the x86 architecture.


Becox those who raise up this critism have no knowledge on MainFrame/Super Computer market segment. The use of PowerPC processor is one of the reason behind why IBM dominated this high end market.


Power requirements
By mezman on 2/8/2008 2:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
Does it come with it's own nuclear power plant to run all that hardware?




RE: Power requirements
By v1001 on 2/8/2008 3:48:20 PM , Rating: 5
When it's finished it will be powered by millions of clusters of tubes that harness energy from humans.


Hi Milton.
By JonnyDough on 2/9/2008 12:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
What's happenin? Yeah uhh, I'm gonna have to go ahead and ask you to move down to the basement. We have some new super-computers coming in and they're going to need your desk.

No thanks. Control is the enemy, and you sirs are my Lumberg.

*mumble to myself
I'm...I'm just have to burn the place down then.




RE: Hi Milton.
By treehugger87 on 2/11/2008 3:46:40 AM , Rating: 2
600+ PowerPC cores, how many pieces of flare will it need?


RE: Hi Milton.
By treehugger87 on 2/11/2008 3:48:00 AM , Rating: 2
edit: 67 million cores ****


I wonder...
By Galcian on 2/10/2008 7:13:27 PM , Rating: 2
can it run Vista?




RE: I wonder...
By Clauzii on 2/10/2008 7:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
If You can run Windows on Linux, I don't see why not.


RE: I wonder...
By Major HooHaa on 2/16/2008 10:53:56 AM , Rating: 2
A server of that power, what are the other servers of this type being used for?!

I think I will wait for the 45nm version to be released.


linux microkernel?
By deepThought on 2/8/2008 6:51:34 PM , Rating: 2
"The current implementation makes use of a Linux microkernel"

Linux microkernel, that's an oxymoron...




RE: linux microkernel?
By Fnoob on 2/9/2008 10:18:03 AM , Rating: 3
It's actually a new brand from Orville Reddenbacher intended for sale only in Asia.


/slowclap
By i3arracuda on 2/8/2008 3:48:48 PM , Rating: 3
...that's a lot of pr0n for one machine to host.




RE: /slowclap
By Clauzii on 2/8/2008 7:31:53 PM , Rating: 1
It'll probably fuck up :o


By ultimatebob on 2/8/2008 10:22:29 PM , Rating: 4
Sure... running the entire Internet is pretty cool, but can it help to "enhance the truth" while making a cake?




Closed internet
By crystal clear on 2/9/2008 7:58:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
IBM stands to gain some significant customers in the web hosting world with its attractive setup, even if it can't accomplish its Herculean goal of the Kittyhawk.


This system is targeted initially as a closed internet structore with access to those authorized to do so.
Who could be the prospective clients-
Governments & their related organizations/bodies,military(army/airforce/naval), intelligence agencies,NASA etc.

In the non governement sector areas like banks,brokerage firms,insurance,stock exchanges etc also organizations like IBM,Intel,M.S. etc that are huge in size with branches spread all over the world.
Even Universities can use this type of structore

This structore will prevent- HACKING/botnets/viruses/spyware/keyloggers/unauthor ized access etc all the evils we face or deal twith in an open internet structore.

The market is huge with revenues in their billions to be made.
Intel can come with a competing version.......with M.S also coming up with a competing software to run this type of internet structore.
Sun,HP,Fujitsu etc also are capable of contributing their experience/technology.




RE: Closed internet
By crystal clear on 2/9/2008 8:17:33 AM , Rating: 2
In similar news IBM is also coming up with something else equally interesting-

Yesterday, IBM announced a project that will join forces with Brazilian game developer Hoplon Infotainment to develop a Cell-based mainframe system that will host massively multiplayer online games targeted at console and PC users. IBM is calling this system a "gameframe," and it will use Cell BE coprocessors to handle message passing and physics simulation for a Hoplon-developed MMOG middleware layer, called bitVerse, that the two companies are porting to Cell. The mainframe's general-purpose CPUs (probably POWER, but not specified yet) will handle aspects of the MMOG like logistics, connectivity, and the Websphere- and DB2-driven portions of bitVerse.

The system will be Linux-based, and though this isn't stated, it might be based on the IBM System Cluster 1350, if not identical to it. The System Cluster 1350 is a high-performance computing product with models that integrate the Cell BE as a coprocessor with general-purpose processors from Intel, AMD, or IBM. IBM's statement that the cluster can include "up to 336 RISC processors" strongly implies that the general-purpose CPU will come from the company's POWER line. The other, perhaps even more likely option is that it'll involve a System z mainframe put together with racks of IBM's Cell blades. The press release includes a quote from a System z manager, which may indicate that this system is involved.



http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070427-ibm-...


By thesafetyisoff on 2/10/2008 2:08:55 PM , Rating: 3
In the short story "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream," one computer (The Allied Mastercomputer) runs the world but becomes a self-aware, omnipotent, tyrant.

That story is the basis for the Terminator's Skynet and probably hundreds of other sci-fi supercomputer stories.




Multivac
By robp5p on 2/11/2008 12:31:30 PM , Rating: 3
Skynet pre-T3 is a close approximation to this, but the first thing that pops into my head is a short story by Isaac Asimov, "All the troubles of the World"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_Troubles_of_t...

<spoiler alert!> It ends:

Othman used the instrument on Gulliman's desk. His fingers punched out the question with deft strokes: "Multivac, what do you yourself want more than anything else?"

The moment between question and answer lengthened unberably, but neither Othman nor Gulliman breathed.

And there was a clicking and a card popped out. It was a small card. On it, in precise letters, was the answer:

"I want to die."




geneblue/L
By conrad13a on 2/8/2008 2:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
First thing I'd do is overclock it...

Now, does anyone have a lake of liquid nitrogen? Or do I have to do this in orbit?




Senator Stevens?
By SanLC504 on 2/8/2008 2:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
So, if it's not going to be a truck, how many tubes will the new computer hold?




It's the RIAA I tell you....
By qdemn7 on 2/8/2008 3:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
Just think how it would be for them to run anti-piracy software on the ONE computer that runs the entire Internet. No more P2P for you......




Good thought but....
By v1001 on 2/8/2008 3:53:01 PM , Rating: 2
This just wouldn't be feasible. For one it's not safe for all that data in one place or even all in five places. Two, we are at the mercy of IBM. Three, there would be really bad ping and latency for people on the other side of the planet from this thing (or even other side of country). Then they would also have to have an insane amount of bandwidth and wires going to it. Think about all those internet lines being cut right now. Now think of how much easier it would be and how much more widespread if all the internet was in one place.




Very Unwise
By Nik00117 on 2/8/2008 4:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
First off lets assume they can do it, doubtful that is.

It creates a single point of failure, single points of failures are asking for trouble. I don't care who you are it asks for trouble.




Wow.
By bobsmith1492 on 2/8/2008 8:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
Just... wow. How many references can be brought out by the mere mention of a supercomputer. :D This post delivers.




LOL@Skynet
By wingless on 2/8/2008 11:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I'm late. Upon reading the title the same thing popped in my head: SKYNET! Unsurprisingly you all beat me to it.

I would like to point out that the internet is fragile enough. If one super (and evil) computer runs the internet then would be vulnerable as hell. Sure, it might be almost impervious to hacker attacks but not to physical attacks. I don't care where on the planet it is, it could go kaboom if somebody has enough motivation.

Also it would lag the phuck out of CS:S and render the AWP useless....




Correction
By goodgulf on 2/9/2008 3:11:20 AM , Rating: 2
The Blue Gene/L has been out for a few years and had 2 PowerPC processor cores on each chip. The Blue Gene/P became available late 2007 and has 4 PPC450 processors on each chip. The Blue Gene/P provides higher performance per space and power than the Blue Gene/L.




and I shall call it...
By smokedturkey on 2/9/2008 2:34:21 PM , Rating: 2
THE BEAST!




By perzy on 2/11/2008 9:49:18 AM , Rating: 2
IBM emploeeys must be humans too and sick of waiting. Well I'm not sure, but anyways.




KittyHawk
By SecTech767 on 2/11/2008 10:04:01 AM , Rating: 2
Although the idea of IMB producing another super computer sounds appealing, the risk factor is also put into play. With 67.1 mil cores and 32pb of memory, a hardware diagnostic woulb be virtually impossible. Not to mention the supercomputer would have to have surreal cooling. Even if IBM is able to host the entire internet as a web application, they wont be able to. The will most likely sign on with large companies and leave there competetors on there own. Not to mention the amount of money put into web sever farms such as google and amazon. Most corporations will continue to use there own reliable technology.




Wow
By Ammohunt on 2/11/2008 3:32:11 PM , Rating: 2
This is the dumbest IT related idea i have yet seen. IBM does vendor lock in for the entire internet. Just say no to IBM




Games.
By jadeskye on 2/11/2008 7:59:32 PM , Rating: 2
But can it run crysis?




Transmission Delay
By Believer on 2/12/2008 3:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
I sure hope they'll build the darn thing here in Sweden... they'll get some free arctic cooling and I get swift ping!

A fair trade off :)

It would be really sweet to have a localized server that runs the entire Internet. Localized for me anyway... :P




Alphaville
By Flattop on 2/12/2008 5:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
"Science. Logic. Security. Prudence."




hmm...
By Souka on 2/15/2008 1:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
I looked but didn't see a question posted that I had...

67m cores....hmm...so lets say 4-core cpus...each burning 40w+ each

15m cpu * 40w = 600m watts times at least 6 for other equipment and cooling...yikes....

I'm totally guessing some stuff, but still... yikes!!!!




As dumb as it sounds...
By BigToque on 2/17/2008 3:15:15 AM , Rating: 2
I imagine this would be something the RIAA would love. "The Internet" would be located in the United States and under US law. Think about how many more people they could sue :)




I am looking for Sarah Conner !
By phxfreddy on 2/27/2008 3:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
...Tell her skynet was looking for her




project L.U.C.I.D. is here
By urak on 2/11/2008 11:35:15 AM , Rating: 1
This sounds like project L.U.C.I.D. kicking off. The super computer is already finalized and it is in Belgium. The entire building is this computer that promises the NEW WORLD ORDER pathocrats to rule the world in a cashless society with an RFID micorchipped populous being tracked and tagged as bio-slaves. Yes, ver reminiscent to the Terminator flicks that James Cameron (Mason 33* Degree) was ordered to make and the Scientology movie Minority Report with Dyanetic fanatic Tom Cruise. They were ordered by their makers, the Elite, to predictively program the public into accepting this evil plan. ALEXANDER BACKMAN




"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














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