Feeds

Making big ones out of small ones: 3Leaf

Single system image

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The wheel is turning full circle. In the 1980s and 1990s, the HPC crowd pioneered scale-out processing and advanced parallelism in response to cost and scalability limitations imposed by the shared-everything systems of the day, ushering in an era where huge numbers of small computers were harnessed to solve large-scale problems.

Now we’re seeing new technology that allows users to join these small servers together to present a single system image and large memory space. Fast Infiniband connections are taking the place of custom-designed system buses and crossbars to provide system coherency at a much lower cost.

This new model for large system images is more flexible than most of the old-school SMP servers, allowing users to deploy different configurations quickly and easily. Users can boot up a single o/s image spanning, for instance, 12 out of 16 servers. This would provide a large, single shared memory system to handle a workload that lacks the parallelism to run efficiently on scale-out. Later, the system can be deconstructed back into the 16 individual servers.

This technology will certainly be useful,but it isn’t a panacea. It probably won’t work very well on OLTP workloads or other commercial transactional applications. To us, it seems like the best fit is for apps that are memory-starved, or those that are difficult to parallelize. We also increasingly foresee a need for ‘unbalanced’ systems that can throw radically different amounts of processor, I/O, or memory to match unique workload needs.

Different computing problems have quite different needs – some will become processor-bound, while others hit bottlenecks in memory or I/O. The standard ‘balanced’ x86 system isn’t offered in enough flavors to match each and every workload need, and non-x86 systems that have the capacity to provide massive amounts of resource also require massive expenditures. The easiest way to get around the limitations inherent in x86 systems is to allow them to be used as building blocks for larger boxes.

To learn more about this new technology, we talked to BV Jagadeesh, CEO and President of 3Leaf Systems. 3Leaf is a new entrant into the market, offering an innovative hardware ASIC which, according to BV, ties distributed systems together with a fast, low-latency Infiniband-based circulatory system. To see a short video of this interview, click here.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
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!
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...'
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.