Feeds

These supercomputers could be yours

A photo extravaganza

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

SC05 It often feels like AMD receives an inordinate amount of hype for the Opteron processor. Without question, the chip runs great, and AMD has gained market share on Intel as a result. Still, however, Intel owns such a massive portion of the server processor market that AMD remains a relatively minor player.

If, however, last week's Supercomputing show is an indication of things to come, then Intel is indeed in serious trouble. The Opteron hype could well turn into Intel's biggest nightmare sooner rather than later.

The supercomputing crowd tends to set the pace for technology adoption across the server market. The bits and pieces appearing in today's top clusters find their way into corporate data centers in a couple of year's time.

At this year's conference in Seattle, Opteron boxes appeared en masse, and the users could not stop talking about the processor. AMD, for example, had myriad motherboards on display from Asian designers. Similarly, Penguin Computing told us that Opteron-based systems account for about 80 per cent of its big sales with Intel's Xeon products generating almost no interest. Elsewhere, Sun Microsystems actually managed to capture a major supercomputing win with a huge cluster in Japan, and the company, like many, is busy working on Opteron-powered storage gear. Super server start-up Rackable Systems also went hog wild with Opteron at the show.

(Itanium actually received more play than Xeon at the show, which you know is a horrible sign for Intel.)

Simply put, you couldn't escape the Opteron chatter. The chip finally looks set to capture the high performance computing wins that many predicted two years ago. These large sales translate into thousands upon thousands of processors being moved. And even away from the HPC scene, just about every server start-up looking to target the corporate market these days seems to base its systems on AMD's chip.

A Supercomputer for you and me

The other major trend being pushed was the idea of a top-class cluster than can fit under a user's desk.

Orion Multisystems pioneered this concept with its DS-96 product that plugs into a standard wall outlet. In the coming months, Orion looks to put out a new version of this system at a reduced price.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates backed up the personal cluster idea during a keynote at the show. "What we see as a key trend here is that we will have supercomputers of all sizes, including ones that will cost less than $10,000 and be able to sit at your desk or in a department," he said. A true visionary.

Penguin Computing has started selling a personal cluster as well. Its box starts under $10,000 and can reach up to 200 Gigaflops when packed with Opterons.

Many of you will also want to check out the designs being done by Hiroshi Nakashima and the cluster management wares of Satoshi Matsuoka. Their MegaProto system packs 320 of Transmeta's Efficeon chips into a single package.

You can bet that more and more of these types of systems roll out to address the insatiable desire for more computer power felt by engineers, scientists and big business. (We covered the start of this trend in 2002, when Los Alamos scientist Wu-chun Feng and blade server pioneer Chris Hipp unveiled their work around Green Destiny.)

Overall, Supercomputing has turned into the key show for server customers to see what's available on the market. Close to 9,000 attendees appeared this year, and more will certainly arrive in 2006 at the Tampa event, even if it's in Tampa.

Keep reading to see what other products stole the show.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Next page: Other eye catchers

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.