Feeds

Cell phone supercomputing II: in the flesh

Demo graphics

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

In a recent blog, I wrote how tiny ARM-based compute nodes were assembled into a 16-way cluster and displayed at the recently concluded SC09 supercomputing conference.

The nodes were put together by Plugcomputer.org and contain a single 1.2GHz Marvell Sheeva Processor (ARM compatible), 512MB RAM, 512MB flash, and one each Gigabit Ethernet and USB sockets. My blog was scintillating and packed full of useful information, but it was not a substitute for seeing this beast in person.

I found their booth as the show was winding down and spent a few minutes talking with Bill Boaz from System Fabric Works, a storage OEM and integrator, who graciously walked me through the system – even pulling the motherboard from a node to show the innards.

To me, this is an interesting demonstration project showing how extremely low power devices (about 5 watts per node) can be pinned together to do useful work. Although there wasn’t a real workload running on the cluster, Bill estimated that each node had roughly the integer performance of an Intel Atom processor – which is more than I expected, to be honest.

I had video rolling throughout our chat, so you can see just how small this cluster (“Pluster,” given the Plug Computer nodes) really is.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.