Feeds

SGI raises the Itanic

Linux NUMA benchmark breakthrough

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Earlier this summer, SGI launched a tour to reassure customers that its heart and soul remained with MIPS and Irix. Today it touted impressive memory benchmarks for its Itanium2 hardware, due to be launched next year, and it's running Linux.

SGI clocked over 120GB per second on the STREAM benchmark with a 64-CPU configuration. The test measures shared memory bandwidth and excludes cluster configurations such as Beowulf. Only Cray, and NEC (with its SX5 and SX4 supercomputers) have scored higher and the system bests SGI own Origin 3800 with 256 CPUs, the company's previous top-scorer.

And it's all on Linux. SGI's previous Linux endeavors have focused on tweaking the kernel to improve performance on message passing Beowulf clusters, using bog standard PC hardware. Many of the kernel patches SGI submitted weren't adopted in the official Linux, but were included in SGI's distro.

However this is something quite different, expanding on SGI's open source NUMA project to allow Linux to take advantage of SGI's proprietary ccNUMA architecture. This is serious big iron, and uses SGI's own interconnect. SGI is the member of the NUMA camp still flying under its own flag, with Data General having been swallowed by EMC, and Sequent by IBM.

It makes much sense. SGI has made two attempts to chase commodity priced computing with Windows and Linux, but there's little money to be made from the hardware, even on large Beowulf installations. This is a higher margin business. In July, SGI said that for its dense Reality Center installations, MIPS would remain a much more efficient choice, as each MIPS core dissipated 15-20 watts of heat, compared to the Itanic's 110-130 watts per core. ®

Related Stories

SGI stays with MIPS at high-end
SGI to develop MIPS chips for Origin, Onyx

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.