Feeds

Bull waves red flag at HPC with blade supers

Never mind the bullx

Security for virtualized datacentres

There are apparently two chipsets on this accelerator blade and two ConnectX adapters, but only two processor sockets, which support up to the 2.93 GHz X5570 Nehalem EP chips. (The extra chipsets provide extra I/O, which keeps the GPUs well fed with data.) The accelerator blade has room for one SATA or SSD disk on the blade, and has two Gigabit Ethernet ports. The GPUs and the Mellanox cards plug into PCI-Express 2.0 adapter slots.

The bullx chassis and the Xeon 5500 compute blades are available now, but the accelerator blades will not ship until November. Pricing was not announced for the bullx machines. A CPU-only configuration delivers 1.69 teraflops of number-crunching power per chassis and a 42U rack with 108 blades will peak out at around 10 teraflops. So, ten racks of these puppies and you are at 1 petaflops, and that is without resorting to GPUs.

The Tesla M1060 GPUs are the same ones that motherboard and whitebox server maker Super Micro just crammed into its own HPC server nodes, which are rack-style boxes, not blades. The M1060 GPU cards were announced at the beginning of June, and they have 240 cores clocking at 1.3 GHz, plus 4 GB of its own GDDR3 memory; each GPU is rated at 933 gigaflops on single-precision floating point calculations, but only 78 gigaflops on double-precision math.

The lack of performance on double-precision math limits the appeal of the CPU-GPU hybrid, but nVidia is supposedly working on a new packaging for the GPUs due early next year (and I am guessing to plug into normal processor sockets) that will also sport something close to parity between single-precision and double-precision math. When and if that happens, expect CPU-GPU hybrids to take off like mad.

Bull is supporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 plus its own bullx Cluster Suite on the bullx HPC clusters, and is also supporting Microsoft's Windows HPC Server 2008. Given the popularity of Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in Europe, and especially among HPC shops, it seems odd that SLES 10 SP2 or SLES 11 are not yet supported.

According to a report in HPCwire, the CEA and the University of Cologne in Germany are the first two customers for the bullx boxes. The University of Cardiff, which currently buys Bull boxes, was trotted out as part of the bullx announcements to say that it will keep the bullx boxes in its thoughts as it plans to upgrade its current "Merlin" Xeon-based cluster, which is rated at 20 teraflops and which was installed last June. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'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
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
VMware's tool to harden virtual networks: a spreadsheet
NSX security guide lands in intriguing format
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 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.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.