Feeds

Acer leans on Pisa in HPC market bid

Uni gets Gateway competency centre

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Acer has cut the tape on a Gateway HPC Competence Centre at the University of Pisa IT Centre as it ramps up its effort to become a serious play in top-drawer computing.

Gateway is Acer's high-performance computing (HPC) brand in Europe. Intel is part of the project, and naturally the Gateway systems involved use Xeon processors.

The hardware resources include a 128-node compute cluster using GW2000 multi-node servers - G for Gemini, 256 Xeon X5670 processors with more than 1,500 cores, and NVIDIA Tesla hybrid GPUs (Graphic Processing Unit). Network-attached storage is provided by Acer partner Hitachi Data Systems, using BlueArc filers, and Intel solid state drives can be used if needed.

Acer Gateway's Gemini series of products are modular servers and said to be cheaper than rack or blade design systems, but the Pisa centre includes both those server types as well though, for flexibility.

The cluster, with its 128 nodes, is said to be of a reasonable size and can be sub-divided for smaller projects. Sixteen compute nodes are dedicated to running HPCS.

All the servers in the centre run Windows HPC Server 2007 R2 (HPCS) and there is a QLogic Infiniband networking infrastructure in the centre, connecting both modular and high-density blade servers.

On top of the basis cluster node operating system, HPCS provides a cluster job scheduler, a message passing interface (MPI v2), and cluster monitoring and management facilities. As well as the Windows software, Red Hat and SuSE Linux are available.

Microsoft says HPCS can scale to thousands of cores and can be integrated with Linux-based HPC platforms.

Acer partners and customers can test and benchmark configurations at the Pisa centre to see if they meet their HPC needs. Excess capacity is available to Pisa university researchers.

Acer appears to be using HPC as a way of proving that its servers have real computing cojones. It has just won a contract to supply supercomputing facilities in Taiwan, its home base, for the National Centre of High-performance Computing which is being overhauled with new facilities.

When complete at the end of March the installation will be one of the top 50 fastest supercomputers in the world.

It will have more than 600 Acer servers, much more than the Pisa centre, using both AMD Opteron 6100 processer-based AR585 and Xeon-based AR360 F1 servers. There will be more than 25,000 cores, 70TB of RAM, and 1.1PB of storage.

QLogic Infiniband networking is involved here too but storage is being provided by DataDirect Networks and the system will be managed using Platform Computing's HPC product. Parallel debugging software is being provided by Allinea Software.

Acer is not using its Gateway brand for the Taiwan contract and will clearly partner with whoever seems best for particular HPC contracts. It is punting a lot of effort into the HPC space and aims to match and surpass Dell and other server suppliers.

However Acer is not selling its own brand HPC stack, relying on partners like HDS, DataDirect and QLogic to provide storage and networking components. This may be an early-stage arrangement, and who knows what further integration and branding may happen in the future. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
AMD's 'Seattle' 64-bit ARM server chips now sampling, set to launch in late 2014
But they won't appear in SeaMicro Fabric Compute Systems anytime soon
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Microsoft builds teleporter weapon to send VMware into Azure
Updated Virtual Machine Converter now converts Linux VMs too
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.