Feeds

Meet the cluster teams: Can Slippery Rock or Sun Devils burn?

First look at Slippery Rock and Arizona State $2,500 cluster teams

Remote control for virtualized desktops

HPC blog Here's an up close and personal look at two of the four teams that competed in the SC13 Commodity Track Cluster Competition. These teams could build anything their hearts desired as long as the total cost was less than $2,500 (US).

University of Slippery Rock (Team Rock)

This is the second year that Slippery Rock has fielded a team for a SC cluster competition. Last year, Team Rock vied for the LittleFE crown by crunching Traveling Salesman problems day and night. This year, they’re in the Commodity Track, running HPC benchmarks and apps on a $2,500 home brew machine.

Watch Video

In this video, we meet Team Rock and learn that there isn’t particularly slippery rock anywhere near the university (just as there isn’t a real Cluster Crown or Chalice of Cluster Glory.) The school was actually named for a nearby creek that, assumedly, some farmer dubbed ‘Slippery Rock Creek’ after falling into it a couple of hundred times.

When looking at Team Rock’s cluster, note the state of the art augmented cooling provided by a local Lowes. You will also hear the team give major props to their faculty and coaches for building a solid HPC curriculum at Slippery Rock. Part of this is “Parallel Fridays”, which, surprisingly enough, isn’t “Blondie Night” at the local TGI Fridays watering hole.

We also talk about how Team Rock came into being. It turns out that a Slippery Rock professor observed the cluster competition at SC11 and it inspired him to recruit a Team Rock for the SC12 and ’13 competitions.

Arizona State University (Team Sun Devil)

The Sun Devils have brought serious style to the Commodity Track competition. While other teams cobbled together custom (read “cheap”) cluster enclosures from shop class scraps or discarded PCs, the boys from the desert wastelands give us a distinctly Scandinavian take on clustering and HPC.

Their nodes are housed in a handsome IKEA 6-drawer unit from the stylish Helmer collection. The drawers move quietly and smoothly, giving users easy access to each node. Constructed from sturdy (and head conducting) sheet metal, the Helmer cluster enclosure is a perfect complement for a hip new data center or a computer room in a trendy loft lab.

Watch Video

You can meet the team and check out the system in the video above. It’s actually a very cool design, and quite a price performer too. But the team did have to make some compromises in order to stay within the spending limit and the limits of the Helmer drawer.

What I didn’t ask, and should have, is if they looked at the Malm, Vittjso or Fjalkinge lines and why they didn’t go with those styles. You can get taller drawers to accommodate accelerators, plus get a warm wood-like finish that will blend in with any décor. It’s something to think about for next year for sure.

We talk about their system configuration and the compromises they had to make along the way. The group from Arizona State University, Team Sun Devil, has brought something unique to the SC13 Commodity Track: the customized IKEA node cabinet. Find out whether they went with the ‘Malm’ or the ‘Vittsjo’ or the ‘Fjalkinge’ – and why they decided against using accelerators – in this video. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.