Feeds

Boffins look down back of Amazon Web Services, find a SUPERCOMPUTER

Few clicks here, few thousands dollars there - bingo, a 1.21PFLOP beast in the cloud

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

What runs faster than the majority of the world's supercomputers, costs less, and was used to research organic solar-power cells? The answer is Megarun, a 1.21-petaflop super that was spun up by Cycle Computing in the AMAZON CLOUD.

Cycle Computing revealed its Megarun beast on Tuesday before the kickoff of Amazon Web Services's re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this week.

Megarun uses three times as many CPU cores as the company's last 50,000 core whopper in 2012, and was tasked with divining new organic photovoltaic compounds from 205,000 molecules.

The virty super used Schrödinger's Materials Science software suite to analyze the molecules, and was able to study thousands at once through the use of Cycle Computing's top-secret "Jupiter" job scheduler.

Jupiter was able to marshal some 156,314 compute cores across 16,788 AWS instances slathered across all eight of Amazon's public regions for an 18-hour compute job. It is designed to eventually run "millions of cores" performing tens of millions of tasks, according to a company slide.

The system's peak performance of 1.21 petaflops would rank it as the planet's 29th most powerful computer in the top 500 supers of the world as of June 2013, Cycle Computing said.

The majority of the system ran on Amazon's CC2 instances due to the performance of Intel's Sandy Bridge processors, Cycle told El Reg, though it did also use second-generation M3 processors, and the graphical-heavy C1 systems as well. Megarun's compute resources cost $33,000 through the use of Amazon's low-cost spot instances, we're told, compared with the millions and millions of dollars you'd have to spend to buy an on-premises rig.

"While this run broke records, we continue to explore the limits of scalability and faster time to market and time to result for scientific computing and analytics in Life sciences, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Energy, and Media," Cycle Computing wrote in a blog post.

Though Amazon is most famous for throwing a wrench into the high-margin businesses operated by HP, Dell, EMC, IBM, and others, it seems that bit-flippers such as Cray and SGI should now be worried as well. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.