Feeds

Take a Windows HPC test drive

Crashing in on IBM's supercomputers

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

With Windows HPC Server 2008, the parallel supercomputing variant of Microsoft's Windows operating system, being released this week, there are probably a lot more people who want to see how it works than are willing to shell out a lot of cash to give it a whirl. And that is one reason why IBM has set up a test drive of Windows HPC Server on a number of compute utilities.

The other reason is Big Blue is doing this is to remind us all, once again, that it has compute utilities in the first place, since the utility computing model - I guess I meant to say cloud computing to be more modern, but somehow forgot - has not taken off as many (press releases) had expected.

IBM operates two HPC utilities, one in New York and the other in London, that together have a mix of over 13,000 Power and x64 processors (both from Advanced Micro Devices and Intel, and in blade or rack formats) that until now have been configured with AIX (on Power) or Linux (on Power or x64); the servers in the centers have access to a total of 54 terabytes of disk capacity.

Because different customers have different networking preferences, IBM can link server nodes with Gigabit Ethernet, InfiniBand, or Myrinet interconnections, and the storage can optionally be equipped with IBM's own General Parallel File System. The company can also bring BlueGene/L supercomputer nodes to bear if users want to buy capacity on these boxes.

Starting this week, the x64 boxes can also now be configured with Windows HPC Server 2008, and rather than making customers sign a relatively long term contract, the company is offering a three-day trial across from 14 to 16 x64 server nodes running the Windows stack for a mere $99.

Based on the $1 per CPU per hour charges that Sun has tried to get for its Solaris utility, IBM's pricing for the Windows HPC test drive is very reasonable. Amazon's EC2 grid charges a mere 10 cents per hour per compute unit, which is roughly equivalent to a single-core x64 processor running at around 1 GHz, and Amazon's pricing is not directly applicable to IBM's test drive (if you make some assumptions about core counts and clock speeds, IBM is in the range of a few pennies per 1 GHz per hour on the x64 iron). What is clear is that Amazon is keeping prices pretty low for EC2, and IBM is doing so with Windows HPC Server to test demand.

Heaven only knows what IBM really charges for utility computing once customers make a commitment. Utility computing deals are all negotiated individually, and list price is probably even less meaningful than it is on a hardware sale proper. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.