Feeds

Function trumps form at Intel showcase

We muster an Itanic cluster or two

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

IDF Vendors showcasing their wares at this year's IDF checked all their glitzy booth adornments at the door, picking a plain and simple pitch instead.

For the most part, the IDF show floor was covered with drab, little vendor receptacles. Some companies like Nvidia managed to put up a flat panel or two to show off their graphics skills, but the average vendor could only muster a few press kits, some candy and a software demo. One hardware integrator simply had a server sitting on a chair with a robot disguised as a human saying: "This fits four Xeons."

Unlike other showcases such as CES or MacWorld, IDF proves that function trumps form in the land of the industry standard.

That said, some vendors' gear did manage to catch our eye and demand a trip around their booths.

Seamless

The folks over at Seamless Display have done a nice job with the Horizon 320. The product melds three 20-inch LCD screens into a massive 40-inch display. It's aimed at people doing a lot of design work, users creating large spreadsheets of data and those running simulators for things like pilot training.

At present, the display is a bit bulky and literally rough around the edges. There appeared to be dark areas at the seams of the connected displays. Seamless Display, however, is looking to slim the system down and give it a better, "seamless" final polish.

Blade

Silicon Mechanics was showing its line of Xeon-based servers. The Bladeform Blade Server Platform is essentially a rebadged version of the blade design created by Intel and IBM. The two giants partnered to create a type of white box blade standard. Dell is said to be picking up the design for a new blade line after struggling with its own gear.

Silicon Mechanics has both a two-way and a four-way blade available. As you would expect, the kit is not all that flashy but looks more than adequate to get grunt computing work done.

We chatted with the Silicon Mechanics crew for a bit and discussed the prospects of an Itanium-based blade. Our troubling consensus was that Itanium blades could well accelerate global warming. Chuckles all around.

Itanic servers

Celestica and Appro also put their servers on display. Both vendors have crammed two Itanics into a 1U system. If you want to do a bit of comparison shopping, check out Celestica's IYA210 here and Appro's 1224T here. Appro is also pushing a HyperBlade product that combines 17 Itanium servers into a mini-cluster or 80 servers in a full cluster.

All three of these server vendors also sell systems with AMD's Opteron chip.

Cluster

High performance computing fans might already know of Callident, but if you're not familiar with the company, you might want to check out their Linux cluster software.

Callident Rx is a tweaked version of the NPACI Rocks software built by the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC). The product automates much of the Linux cluster installation process. It also ships with a host of popular cluster and high performance computing software packages.

An Intel staffer demonstrating the software gave it high praise. Top on his list was the time Callident saved in a cluster install, reducing the process to a couple hours. The software works with both Xeon and Itanium servers.

Check out all of our IDF coverage here: IDF Spring '04
coverage in full
. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.