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Not_ABBA

Take a chance on EMC: Bursts of aBBa spin up cloudy HPC goodness

EMC has developed a burst buffer technology that transforms its VNX mid-range enterprise storage into an HPC-class storage resource, with the aBBa cache providing the raw speed and the VNX the capacity. High-performance computing (HPC) has such enormous computing grunt that enterprise arrays, like VNX, can't keep up with either …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jun 2014
Airbus A380 lift-off. Picture courtesy of Airbus

Airbus to send 1,200 TFlops of HPC goodness down the runway

Airbus is going to expand the modular data centre strategy it initiated with HP in 2011, with a 1,200 TFlop target capacity. The HP PODs will be added in Toulouse, France, and Hamburg, Germany. Airbus first started parking HP PODs – Performance Optimsed Datacenters – in a contract announced in September 2011. However, HP says …
Cray Mongolian cluster

Supercomputer maker Cray: Jobs for HPC kids? There might be some going

There are some teens and kids in their twenties who skip out on university courses for a trip abroad with their friends, where they spend days and nights chugging down (caffeine) brew, losing sleep and wrestling with, er, clusters. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing... In fact, it could mean that they'll one day work at Cray …

My other supercomputer is a Lenovo: What IBM System x sale means for HPC

Back in May 2013, when IBM was first rumoured to be selling part of its System x division to Lenovo, I wrote a story looking at how this might impact IBM’s position in the HPC market. It’s a good time to revisit that analysis and see what the picture looks like now. As I noted in the prior story, it’s damned hard to get solid …

Where do HPC brainbox students go after ULTIMATE VICTORY?

We’ve been following these student cluster competitions for several years now (since 2010, to be more specific). While we’ve talked about how ambitious and driven these kids are, and how these competitions can open many doors for them, we’ve never asked the seniors what they’re headed towards after they graduate. We’re fixing …

HPC boffins: Our HOT MODELS will help you cope with DISASTER

What’s the most common and costly type of natural disaster? If you answered "floods and tsunamis” you’d be right on the money. Economic damages caused by large and small flooding events – either caused by storms, storm surges or earthquakes, in the case of tsunamis – are truly massive, running into the billions or tens of …

EMC snaps up ex Symantec veep to rule new HPC skunkworks

EMC has recruited an ex-Symantec exec to lord it over its Emerging Technology Products division. His product brief includes "hybrid Cloud Gateways and High Performance Computing storage" which is fine ... except EMC hasn't got any such products. Chirantan “CJ” Desai will be the president of the newly-formed Emerging Technology …
Chris Mellor, 27 Sep 2013

Experienced HPC compo kids welcome eager Brazilians to cluster-wrestling match

In our last story, we looked at the local Chinese undergrads who are competing for cluster-building glory at the Asian Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC14) in Guangzhou, but there are plenty of competitors who are keen to grab the title and take it home – to the United States, steamy Brazil or even to the slopes of the Urals …

US cluster kids bring noisy gear, 'fun' toys to World War HPC

Eight universities have travelled to the 2013 International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzig, Germany, to participate in the 2013 ISC Student Cluster Challenge. They’ve hastily pulled together their data-nomming HPC beasts and are now busily working to to hit the jackpot on a series of HPC benchmarks and scientific …

South African kids win global cluster glory at HPC fest

Our last day's talk with Team South Africa did nothing to tip us off that they were going to be the eventual winner of the entire ISC’13 Student Cluster Challenge. But I wasn’t the only one in the dark – I don’t think they had any idea they had a chance to win it all. Team South Africa displayed their normal good-spirited, fun …

HPC kids: Give us your power-sipping, your data-nomming, your core laden clusters

Let’s look at what the teams were running at the ISC’14 Student Cluster Competition. This year, we had perhaps the widest variety of systems in terms of size, and also an entirely new configuration that we hadn’t seen in any competition to date. The Mass Green team, with students from MIT, Bentley University, and Northeastern …

Nvidia to Intel: 'Which HPC chip brain will win? Let the people decide'

Nvidia is of the opinion that in the tussle with Intel as to whether Nvidia's Tesla GPU accelerators or Chipzilla's Xeon Phi many-core CPU coprocessors will dominate the supercomputing market, the HPC community has already voted with its checkbooks. "This community continues to invest in GPU computing – GPU-based accelerated …
Rik Myslewski, 20 Nov 2013
A3CUBE's RONNIEE scheme

The SECOND COMING of Virtensys: HPC boffins turn PCIe into in-memory network

HPC boffins at startup A3CUBE have picked up where Virtensys left off and designed a way to use PCIe interfaces to provide direct shared global memory across a network with lower latency and higher scalability than Ethernet, InfiniBand and Fibre Channel. San Jose-based A3CUBE was founded by in 2012 by Emilio Billi, its chief …
Chris Mellor, 25 Feb 2014
Windows server 2012 logo

Microsoft morphs HPC efforts into 'Big Compute'

A few years back, Microsoft was all gung-ho to try to take on Linux in the high performance computing market, and did a pretty good job with Windows Server 2008 in drawing to performance parity on traditional HPC workloads. But now, in the wake of the massive reorganization by CEO Steve Ballmer, the HPC efforts are being rolled …

What happens when you give undergrads $2,500 to build a HPC rig out of commodity parts? This...

The team from Bentley University and Northeastern University took the first ever Commodity Track Overall Championship award at the recently concluded SC13 Student Cluster Competition. In this competition, student teams had to build a true HPC cluster (at least two nodes), while spending a maximum of $2,500. After building and …

Top500: 'Sky River 2' still rules as graphics tech leaves HPC applecart largely untouched

The Top500 ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers has been released, and the list of the top five systems could very well be simply a Xerox copy of the previous list, which came out back in summer. In the June rankings, the number one spot was taken by the massively parallel Tianhe-2 (Milky Way-2) at China's National …
Rik Myslewski, 18 Nov 2013

Dell to sell Brit firm's 'fastest in the world' HPC arrays

Dell is going to resell Xyratex ClusterStor high-performance computing arrays, which should be good news for the UK data-storage firm after its recent Q4 tumble on the back of crummy enterprise demand and tumbling disk drive sales. ClusterStor is Xyratex's supercomputing and high-performance computing (HPC) storage array, billed …
Chris Mellor, 14 Nov 2012

Students schlep from afar to join the quest for international HPC glory

Three teams of students will be jetting in from overseas to enter this year's Student Cluster Competition, due to kick off on November 18 at the annual SC13 Supercomputing Conference.</p? The teams will be competing in the Big Iron division where undergraduate students design, build, and tune their very own HPC clusters. They’ll …
Silent Brick

Rare HPC beauties unveiled: Quivering racks, Lustre clusters and the tiers of a Cray

The International Supercomputer Show in Leipzig, Germany, was full of fascinating things at the high-end grunt front of the computing business. Here's what attracted this roving hack's eye. Bull has started a world-wide reseller agreement with Seagate’s Xyratex ClusterStor business for supercomputer storage. The ClusterStor …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jun 2014
What the Tianhe-2 super should look like in its final home

HPC server sales spike: Buyers get chops around juicy cheap flops

The plain vanilla server racket may have struggled in the first quarter, but sales of machinery aimed at high performance computing workloads -both traditional simulation workloads and new-fangled "Big Data" jobs - bucked the downward trends in the first quarter, according to the latest research from IDC. And, not even remotely …

American kids leave HPC smackdown hungry for Phi

Colorado and Purdue, the two American teams at the ISC’13 Student Cluster Challenge, had more in common than geography and a fondness for lots of ice in their drinks. (Or at least some ice, damn it. What’s wrong with Europe, anyway? Why can’t we have ice if we want it?) For one thing, each team has more cluster competition …
Broken CD with wrench

HPC and its growing reach

El Reg's Tim Phillips talks High Performance Computing with Gordon Graylish who is the VP and GM for enterprise solutions sales. They run through the definitions of HPC, where HPC is being used as a default, and also the potential for HPC in broader markets – particularly with HPC becoming much more accessible and affordable. …
Phil Mitchell, 03 Oct 2011

South African cluster kids represent ENTIRE continent at HPC battle

The 2013 International Supercomputing Conference (ISC’13) Student Cluster Challenge (SCC) in Leipzig will be a truly global competition, with universities from Europe, China and the United States vying for HPC bragging rights and, yes, glory too. Student teams will race their home-built clusters to see who can achieve the …

Free HPC cluster to good home

Interested in getting your hands on some serious system hardware for free? Well, with a few provisos, you could get your hands on a nearly new HPC cluster. First off, you'll need to be in the research game - in a US- or Canada-based academic or government lab, or some other non-profit research institution. (We’re talking about …
Stacking up chips to make tiny Daleks for the data center

Power-mad HPC fans told: No exascale for you - for at least 8 years

I recently stumbled upon a transcript from a very recent interview with HPC luminaries Jack Dongarra (University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge, Top500 list) and Horst Simon (deputy director at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.) The topic? Nothing less than the future of supercomputers. These are pretty good guys to ask, since they’re …
A blade server from the UV2 super

SGI backs away from public clouds, chases HPC and big data

Supercomputer and high-density server maker Silicon Graphics is still not back on track to profitability, but CEO Jorge Titinger says he knows what to do: Back away from the knife fight of providing infrastructure to public cloud providers and focus on commercial HPC systems, related big data systems, and the storage that sits …
A3CUBE&#39;s RONNIEE scheme

A3CUBE HPC boffins: They've uncloaked. Now what?

A3CUBE, which came out of stealth on Monday, is the latest firm to gamble on in-memory networking, in its case using PCIe to create a very fast network with nanosecond latency between nodes. Last week I had the chance to briefly speak with both the CEO Antonella Rubicco and CTO Emilio Billi, who ran me through the concepts. …
New Mexico&#39;s Encanto supercomputer

Day of the Trifid: VPAC fires up new HPC cluster

The Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC), a consortium of Australian universities, has flipped the switch on 45.9 Teraflops of a new $1.22 million HP-based cluster to cope with rising workloads from partners La Trobe University and RMIT, and its other customers. The Reg understands the 180-node, 2,880 core machine …

Industry upstart: You know what high-end HPC needs? More DAY-GLO

One of the best things about industry events like the GPU Technology Conference (GTC 2013) is walking around the trade show floor. It gives me a chance to talk to smaller, niche companies who don’t get the media coverage given to the titans of the high-performance computing industry. (Or to Titan the supercomputer, for that …
Die shot of the 62-core Xeon Phi coprocessor chip

Intel widens Xeon Phi HPC coprocessor lineup

The pitch that Intel's salespeople have to make to push Xeon Phi x86-based coprocessors just got a little easier and more interesting. And in the same week that a hybrid Xeon-Xeon Phi machine - China's Tianhe-2 - took the title as the fastest supercomputer in the world. And that is going to make life a little bit harder for …
Fujitsu K supercomputer

Big bad boxes drive explosive growth for HPC in Q3

The server market as a whole is having its issues, with both virtualization and the jittery global economy holding down physical box counts – and therefore revenues – more than they might otherwise be. But the supercomputer market is chugging right along. Networks keep getting faster, virtualization has yet to touch its boxes, …

Sequoia: Can anyone learn to wield this mighty HPC weapon?

Here at ISC 2012 in Hamburg, I sat in on a podcast with Rich Brueckner of insideHPC and Dr Jack Dongarra, co-founder of the Top500 list. We talked about the 20-year evolution of the list and, of course, Sequoia, the BlueGene/Q system that topped the June 2012 rankings. Dr Dongarra spoke about Sequoia’s very impressive number of …

EMC: I Have A Dream - of ABBA in every HPC setup

EMC has had a dream, a flash appliance called ABBA that helps mega-node HPC set-ups run faster and smoother. ABBA is an acronym for the Active Burst Buffer Appliance. It's designed by Los Alamos National Labs (LANL) and EMC to help in massive tightly-coupled high-performance computing (HPC) where nodes need to interact and not …
Chris Mellor, 21 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

HPC cloud belches from top UK universities

At last, one can rent tens of thousands of cores-worth of HPC teraFLOPS on demand from an HPC cloud. It's called CORE and is based on high-performance computing (HPC) labs at Cambridge University and Imperial College and the STFC DiRAC national HPC service. Users can get access to over 300 teraFLOPS of sustained, double- …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jun 2012

NetApp feeds HPC monster: How much cache? That would be telling

NetApp has boosted its high performance computing style storage arrays, the "not-ONTAP" E-Series arrays, by adding a solid state drive cache, better data protection and new network connectivity options. But the storage vendor is keeping quiet on flash cache capacity. NetApp's HPC style arrays ingest and disgorging data faster …
Chris Mellor, 09 Nov 2012
There are four sizes of Active Infrastructure stacks

Dell rejigs Active System stacks, wraps up HPC cluster for life sciences

Dell is finally getting around to updating its vStart virtual machine stacks, converting them to Active Infrastructure converged systems while at the same time cooking up a new stack aimed specifically at high performance computing customers. They go by many names, but rack-level preconfigured systems with servers, storage, and …

Reg HPC man relives 0-day rootkit GROUNDHOG DAY

This is a difficult article to write, and I’ve put it off for way too long. But it’s time to bite the bullet and make an embarrassing admission to the Register audience. I’ve been hacked and hacked hard. Admitting this publicly to Reg readers is like chumming shark-infested waters with my own blood. Or like telling people that I …
IBM Elastic Storage Vid

IBM intros Elastic Storage ... as used by human-crushing HPC brain Watson

BM has announced Elastic Storage as a component of its software-defined storage portfolio, and it's actually a repackaging and renaming of the venerable GPFS product. GPFS is IBM’s General Parallel File System for parallel access to massive numbers of files. The IBM announcement says Elastic Storage “offers unprecedented …
Chris Mellor, 13 May 2014

Student HPC whizzkids in unusual competition start

The ISC Student Cluster Challenge kicked off last night in a unique manner. Rather than a simple shouted “Go!” or a loud tone sent over a bullhorn, the organisers confronted the university teams with a physical challenge, along the lines of the old Le Mans auto races. Each team had to run across the show floor to gather up six …
LIFE_SUPPORT_HEART_AND_LUNG_MACHINE

IBM considers System X surgery: Will it ruin its sexy HPC figure?

The increasing amount of speculation over IBM's potential unloading of all or part of its System x (x86-based servers) business onto Lenovo has high performance computing (HPC) players wondering about the implications for the sector. What would be the eventual impact on IBM, and the HPC market in general, if Big Blue were to …

NUDT on HPC battle: Total cluster supremacy - Who needs it?

Video Team NUDT (China’s own National University of Defense Technology) was all smiles when I stopped by their booth on the final day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC). And what’s not to smile about? They had just won the LINPACK award with their record-breaking 3 Teraflop/s score and were considered a serious …

Comp sci boffins Venus: HPC newbies post respectable score

Video We spent a few minutes on the last day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) talking to Team Venus from the University of the Pacific. This is not only their first year in the cluster competition, but also the first time any of the students have done anything at all HPC-related. Under the mentorship of Oak Ridge …
IBM logo

IBM forges NextScale servers for HPC and hyperscale cheapskates

Concurrent with Intel's launch of the "Ivy Bridge-EP" Xeon E5-2600 v2 processors in San Francisco today, Big Blue trotted out its most vanity-free machines to date, the NextScale line. The new systems are designed specifically to compete with low-cost, stripped down alternatives from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Silicon Graphics, and …

HPC whizzkids battle own software on final day of student compo

It's the last day of the 2012 ISC Student Cluster Competition, and Stony Brook University (profile here) has had their work cut out for them so far... From the very beginning, they had software problems with their cluster, requiring them to concentrate on troubleshooting and repairing while their competitors were running code. …
Nvidia

GAME ON: NVIDIA brings GPUs to 64-bit ARM servers

ARM's march into data centres and the world's most demanding applications has taken a major stride forward with GPU king NVIDIA throwing its weight behind ARM server-makers by releasing a version of its CUDA parallel programming platform that works with the architecture. HPC types have, in recent years, increasingly turned to …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Jun 2014
hitahi t7k500 hard disk drive

High-end storage tanked, but 'HDPA' storage about to soar says IDC

Box-counter IDC recently decreed that 2014's first quarter was a shocker for high-end storage sales, but also predicts things are looking up in storage used for what it now calls “high performance data analysis” (HPDA). IDC's veep for HPC and data analysis Steve Conway puts HDPA in a little perspective with a canned quote …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2014

HPC Advisory Council unveils Cloud HPC initiative

Our pals at the HPC Advisory Council have been busy in the past few months and it seemed time to tap them for an update, in our September HPC Community webcast. For the uninitiated, the council consists of 150 HPC hardware vendors, ISVs and users who have banded together to provide a guiding hand. Their main goal is to ‘bridge …
SoftLayer&#39;s data center

Why gov labs presenting HPC tech ≠ officials wolfing overpriced sushi

Our buddy Rich Brueckner over at insideHPC broke some news this week when he published a story about new conference and travel spending restrictions that might radically scale back US government agency participation in HPC industry events like the upcoming SC12 conference in Salt Lake City this November. The new strictures are …

Private billion buck HPC player? You're going to have to go public - and SOON

We heard a whisper that Big Data player DataDirect Networks (DDN) was thinking of going public, although marketing CEO and co-founder [Alex Bouzari recently batted the suggestion away, saying merely that it would "probably make sense at some point in the future". But regardless of the company's intentions, the question remains …
Chris Mellor, 15 Mar 2013

Mellanox gives InfiniBand a 5 BILLION PACKET/sec cloud dose

Networking tech firm Mellanox is broadening its 100Gbps InfiniBand portfolio – and is hoping that the new products and capabilities will help it expand its footprint outside its supercomputer home territory. Following on from its demo of 100 Gbps cables last March, the company is using ISC 2014 in Germany to launch the Switch-IB …