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ScaleMP: Use RAM plus vSMP, not flash, to boost server performance

Partners with Big Blue, chases SGI UV2 shared memory systems

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Chasing SGI UV 2, partnering with Big Blue

In addition to rolling out the Memory Expansion variant of vSMP for the 5.1 release, ScaleMP has two other things cooking.

The first is yet another deal it is making to try to dislodge customers who have been using shared memory Itanium and Xeon systems from Silicon Graphics. Under that deal, which you can apply for here, Fultheim says that if you have a quote from SGI for a UV 1000 or 2000 system and you want to get a better deal, then ScaleMP can deliver you 20 per cent more performance, 20 per cent more memory than the SGI system, and at a 20 per cent lower price. ScaleMP doesn't actually make its own iron, of course, but Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM, Fujitsu, and Cray are all resellers of vSMP and will work with ScaleMP on the deal.

ScaleMP launched a slightly more complex assault on the SGI customer base, targeting Itanium machines using the NUMAlink 4 interconnect and Xeon E7 machines using the NUMAlink 5 interconnect. That deal involved free installation services plus a bunch of consulting services to help companies make the jump to vSMP clusters. That deal had services valued at $40,000 against a typical 64-socket vSMP machine that cost in the neighborhood of $320,000 to $350,000. It is unclear if this SGI deal is still on the table and can be combined with the guarantee outlined above, by why not push for it?

The new SGI guarantee is only applicable on UV 1000 and UV 2000 deals. Performance is reckoned in teraflops and memory capacity does not include any flash or GPU memory. The deal expires on September 30.

Finally, ScaleMP has worked out a deal with IBM to create vSMP appliances, one aimed at large memory server workloads and the other to create a "workstation on steroids," as Fultheim put it.

The virtual large memory appliance from IBM is based on its System x3750 M4 server, a quad-socket box with 48 memory slots based on Intel's eight core Xeon E5-4650 processors running at 2.7GHz.

The appliance comes in three sizes with two different memory stick options as follows:

IBM and ScaleMP have forged some preconfigured vSMP appliances

IBM and ScaleMP have forged some preconfigured vSMP appliances

Pricing for the virtual large memory appliance is being set by IBM, not ScaleMP. But Fultheim says that Big Blue bargained for a good discount on the vSMP software and it is unlikely that customers will be able to beat IBM's price if they try to build their own clusters and negotiate with ScaleMP for discounts. Prices range from $172,634 for the 3TB setup with four server nodes to $423,427 for the 7.5TB setup with five server nodes.

The virtual cluster appliance is the workstation-ish thingamabob, and it is based on a single BladeCenter H chassis with 8 or 14 blades, which makes 16 or 28 Xeon E5-processors for a total of 128 or 224 cores all brought to bear as a single system thanks to vSMP. This appliance is based specifically on the eight-core Xeon E5-2670 running at 2.6GHz, and comes with between 512GB and 1.75TB of main memory across those blades. Prices range from $112,949 to $211,955. It is not clear where one plugs the GPU cards into this juiced-up workstation to actually make it do viz stuff. ®

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