Feeds

'Flash Gordon' supercomputer powers up in January

Solid-state 'science ship' casts anchor in San Diego

High performance access to file storage

Say hello to Flash Gordon; the world's first flash-powered supercomputer will come online in the San Diego Supercomputer Centre in January.

It's being built by Appro International using Intel 710 flash drives and cost a bargain basement (this is supercomputing budget land) $20 million for 280+ teraflops, 36 million IOPS, and 48th place in the top 50 supercomputer list. SDSC thinks the 36 million IOPS number makes it the fastest supercomputer in the world in terms of I/O operations.

SDSC Gordon supercomputer

SDSC's Flash Gordon supercomputer

It's not all flash; there is 4PB of disk storage beside the 300TB of flash, a 13:1 ratio in favour of disk, and suggestive of what is a very large flash cache design. It's the flash that led the boffins to christen it Flash Gordon. One thousand and twenty four 300GB Intel 710 SSDs are used and they hook up to the Intel Xeon E5 processors and 64TB of DRAM across InfiniBand.

SDSC Director Michael Norman said at the launch event: "The era of data-intensive supercomputing begins with Gordon … I view Gordon as a new kind of vessel, a ship that will take us on new voyages to makes new discoveries in new areas of science.”

We're told Gordon will have the ability to hold 100,000 entire human genomes in its flash memory system. It may well be the biggest and fastest data warehouse in the world for scientific data and be an unparalleled performer at data-intensive supercomputing tasks.

Gordon will "serve UC San Diego and UC researchers as well as be available for use by industry and government agencies, it will also serve as a national computing resource as part of the NSF’s new XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) program, a nationwide partnership comprising 16 supercomputers and high-end visualisation and data analysis resources."

It seems fairly certain to El Reg's navel gazers that flash memory tiers will start to flood across the supercomputing scene from now on. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.