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AMD, Oracle sweep their glasses off the table, ARM wrestle Hadoop for the data center

JavaOne AMD thinks the future of the data center lies in the ARM processor architecture, and it's betting that servers based on 64-bit ARMv8 will be humming in racks near you sooner than you expect. To prove it, AMD's Leendert van Doorn took to the stage at Oracle's JavaOne conference in San Francisco to demo two ARM Cortex A57–based …

Dude, you're getting a Dell! Uni of Queensland adds AU$275,000 cluster

The University of Queensland is the latest contributor to Australia's academic high-performance computing boom, with a AU$275,000 ($238k) cluster going live late in September. Installed at the University's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), the new cluster has nine Dell PowerEdge R620s. Each runs …
Cray_XC40

Supercomputers: The Next Generation – Cray puts burst buffer tech, Intel Haswell inside

Cray has new XC40 and CS400 superduper computers using Haswell processors and DataWarp burst buffer tech to keep the Haswell cores crammed with data to process. The XC40 goes twice the speed of the existing XC30, courtesy of its Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 ("Haswell") processor, scaling past a million cores. The architecture …
Chris Mellor, 30 Sep 2014
Larry Ellison

Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER

OpenWorld During his OpenWorld keynote on Sunday, Oracle CEO CTO Larry Ellison took time out from talking up his company's cloud strategy to remind the audience that the database giant is in the hardware business, too – all the way down to the silicon. Many of Oracle's "engineered systems" are powered by Intel processors – and Intel …
Neil McAllister, 29 Sep 2014
HP

ARMs head Moonshot bodies: HP pops Applied Micro, TI chips into carts

HP taking another shot at its Project Moonshot by today announcing two new ARM-powered servers, one 64-bit and the other 32-bit. The US giant hopes its two new ProLiant models will live up to the hype: for years now the ARM world has claimed the architecture will provide high-density, power efficient systems for data centers. …
Pawsey's Magnus super

Pawsey powerhouse schedules first projects

Pawsey's petascale powerhouse has gone through its commissioning cycles, and its operators have announced that they've granted 90 million CPU-hours to the machine's first research users for the period September to December. Magnus, the eight-cabinet, 35,000-core Cray XC30, is based on Intel's Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors and has …
Appro LLNL Edge Cluster

Enough with the rack-grappling, kids. Try this MYSTERY app

HPC blog The organisers of the ISC Student Cluster Competitions (here's a quick guide on how these HPC battles work) are a wily bunch. Theirs was the first competition to throw a “mystery application” at the student teams, forcing them to optimise an unfamiliar workload on the fly. The teams only have a few hours to learn the mystery app …

Rookie southies S Korea and S Africa prep for cluster-wrestling match

HPC Blog Rounding out the field for the recent ISC14 Student Cluster Competition in Leipzig are two semi-experienced teams that both have “South” in their names. Even though Team South Africa and Team South Korea are separated by a large amount of land and water, these two teams do have some things in common. Both of these teams have …

Cherry Creek overflows with HPC goodness at Uni of Nevada

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has signed a deal giving it access to a year-old TOP500 and Green500 supercomputer, the Intel-built Cherry Creek which has arrived at the city's Switch Supernap. In a partnership with Switch, the university says it will be offering the machine for private sector research as well as its own …
IBM's System x3630 M3 server

Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time

HPC blog This article and the ones following it are the most comprehensive and in-depth analysis of a cluster competition that the world has ever seen. If you can find better coverage, then I'll eat a handful of spider webs. Let's dive into the results from the benchmark and HPC application portion of the ISC14 Student Cluster …
flag.Scotland

Scotland wins WORLD RECORD as voters head to referendum polls

HPC blog The LINPACK portion of the ISC’14 Student Cluster Competition (LINK) was supposed to be routine, according to the cluster competition wise guys. Sure, some student team might set a new record, but no one was expecting the new mark to break through the 10 TFLOP/s barrier. Almost everyone expected the LINPACK crown to go to one of …

A3Cube turns RAM up to 11 with FORTISSIMO kit

A3Cube has fleshed out another part of its plans for high performance interconnect, adding an I/O access system to the RONNIE data plane technology it launched in February 2014. As explained to El Reg when it hit, RONNIE provides direct, switchless connection between nodes using PCIe NICs, claiming around 900 nanosecond latency …

Sweden orders TWO PETAFLOP supercomputer

Sweden's KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) is continuing its Cray fandom, placing a US$13 million order for an XC super and taking the institute into the petascale era. Cray first got its foot in the door at KTH in 2010, with a 93 teraflop-rated XT6m midrange system. The XT6m was replaced with a 305 TF XE6, which went in …
Seagate hybrid drives

Seagate's BUMPER State of the Storage Nation announcement

Analysis Positioning itself as a data steward, Seagate has presented its storage state of the nation pitch, announcing: three new disk drives; LaCie Thunderbolt external storage; two server flash cards and a controller; an HPC array; a new backup appliance; and a bright and shiny cloud and enterprise business unit. Seagate is continuing …
Chris Mellor, 15 Sep 2014

eBay DROPS DEAD AGAIN - tat bazaar says sorry, scrambles to resurrect site

eBay went titsup earlier today, and the company is now attempting to bring its site back to life. The online tat bazaar coughed to an unexplained technical blunder preventing an unknown number of its subscribers from accessing the site, which many buyers and sellers of used goods enjoy using in their spare time on the weekends …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Sep 2014
Intel Xeon E5-2600 package

Intel's DDR4-friendly Xeon workhorses bolt for workstations, servers

Intel's latest-generation Xeon E5 v3 processors first showed up in systems from the likes of Dell last month, but Chipzilla made them generally available on Monday – with all of 32 different parts heading for OEMs and the channel. The new Xeon E5-2600 v3 and E5-1600 v3 chips are all based on Intel's x86-64 Haswell …
"Image from the glassbrain project, neuroscapelab.com, UCSF

Nvidia builds CUDA GPU programming library for machine learning – so you don't have to

Nvidia has released a set of software routines for accelerating machine-learning algorithms on its parallelized graphics processors. Over the weekend, the GPU maker uploaded cuDNN – CUDA Deep Neural Networks – which is a library of primitives for building software that trains neural networks. The component is optimized for …
Gavin Clarke, 8 Sep 2014

HAMR time for Google's MapReduce, says not-so-startup

Like the idea of chewing on terabytes data using Google’s MapReduce but think it's too slow, too hardware-hungry and too complicated? A fledgling big-data analytics venture reckons it’s got the answer - a Hadoop programming framework built using Java it claims is 20 times faster than using ordinary Hadoop and that it claims uses …
Gavin Clarke, 8 Sep 2014
ASKAP from the air

Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs

Australia's first pass at the Square Kilometre Array – the Boolardy Engineering Test Array – is about to get commissioned into a fully-live system. The test array, known naturally enough as BETA, is part of the science-before-the-science: a proving ground for some of the new technologies being used for the SKA project, in …
Team Boston at the ISC student cluster competition

American HPC cluster kids feed data-nomming beast with fat nodes

HPC Blog Two student teams from the United States travelled to the ISC’14 Student Cluster Competition in Leipzig, Germany to defend the red, white and blue – and, perhaps, to bring the ISC cluster Chalice of Victory* to the US for the first time. University of Colorado: ISC’14 marks the record-breaking eighth time Colorado has competed …

China sends THREE teams to HPC whizzkid shindig in Germany

HPC Blog China was solidly represented at the ISC’14 Student Cluster Competition in Leipzig, sending three teams to compete for the legendary "Cluster Cup". Two of the teams fought their way through the Asian Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC14), topping 10 other Chinese university teams to get their ticket punched for the Leipzig …
Japanse suspension bridge

Wonderful wizard of WOS daddy DDN moves into big data

Comment HPC and supercomputer storage company Data Direct Networks (DDN) says its move into enterprise big data is providing a bridge to profits, with 100 per cent revenue growth. The stats it quotes are these: Better than 100 per cent business increase in first half of 2014 compared to first half of 2013 for its enterprise big data …
Chris Mellor, 1 Sep 2014

Hot students, 'liquid coolant', bagpipes and Brazilians: It's a cluster compo, folks

HPC Blog Both the UK and South America were ably represented at the recent 2014 International Supercomputing Conference Student Cluster Competition, held in Leipzig, Germany. For some reason, I want to Google up trendy cuisine to see if Scottish-Brazilian fusion restaurants actually exist. But I'm afraid of the possible results – so let' …

They're not a travelling polka band, they're German HPC kids packing Big Iron

HPC blog Home country Germany was well represented at the recent Student Cluster Competition at the 2014 International Supercomputer Show in Leipzig, Germany. Part of the task for students is to find a vendor partner and work with them to put together the best cluster for the event. Of course, the next difficult bit is making sure the …
IBM Watson QA Power7 cluster

IBM: OK, Watson, you've won Jeopardy. Now, CURE CANCER

IBM has found yet another use for its Jeopardy-winning Watson supercomputer, launching a new system called Watson Discovery Advisor to analyse scientific and medical research. The new cloud-based system can figure out scientific language well enough to know how chemical compounds interact and can also understand the nuances of …
Star Trek Into Darkness

Next blockbuster you watch could be rendered on Google: Star Trek fx biz Zync gobbled

Google has confirmed its gobble of Zync, a cloud-based special effects rendering service. "Creating amazing special effects requires a skilled team of visual artists and designers, backed by a highly powerful infrastructure to render scenes. Many studios, however, don’t have the resources or desire to create an in-house …
Iain Thomson, 26 Aug 2014

AMD's first 64-bit ARM cores star in ... Heatless in Seattle*

Hot Chips 26 AMD today sheds more light on its "Seattle" 64-bit ARM architecture processor at the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, California. Take one glance at this new Opteron A1100-series system-on-chip, and you'll realize it's aimed squarely at servers rather than the traditional ARM scene of handheld gadgets and embedded computing – …
Chris Williams, 11 Aug 2014
Fujitsu's Xlfx

Fujitsu takes next-gen HPC chip on the road

Fujitsu is getting ready to tout its next supercomputer silicon at the upcoming Hot Chips conference, a follow-up to the first peek given in June. The silicon the outfit plans for next-generation big iron, the SPARC64 Xlfx, is Fujitsu's hope for exascale computing: a 32-core, 1 Tflop (double precision) / 2 Tflop (single …
AMD FirePro S9150

High five from AMD: New supercomputer GPU maxes out at 5.07 TFLOPS

AMD has upped the ante in its battle with Nvidia for the data center and high-performance computing (HPC) markets, with the launch of two new GPU cards for servers. The company's new big gun is the FirePro S9150 card, which maxes out at a blistering 5.07 TFLOPS peak single-precision floating-point performance and 2.53 TFLOPS …

HGST brings PCM to flash show, STUNS world+dog with 3 MILLION IOPS

In a terrific demo of the wrong technology for the Flash Memory Summit, HGST is showing a PCIe-connected Phase Change Memory device running at three million IOPS with a 1.5 microsecs read latency. Phase Change Memory (PCM) stores binary digits as differing resistance levels by changing the state, or phase, of the chalcogenide …
Chris Mellor, 5 Aug 2014
cloud

UTAS 13,000 Gflop NECTAR node live

The University of Tasmania has flicked the switch on its new node of the national NECTAR research cloud, under an $8.75 million collaboration with the CSIRO and the Australian Antarctic Division. Its node, which has been progressively rolled out since May 2014, has 21 Dell AMD Opteron-based C6145 machines with a total 2,668 …

No need to worry: US blows $174m on new Cray to simulate nukes

Cray is going to help the US watch over its arsenal of nukes, having won a US$174 million contract to supply a new supercomputer to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The Cray XC super to be provided under the contract will be hooked up to the company's Sonexion storage. Dubbed “Trinity”, the system is …
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 …

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

HPC blog 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 …

ISC’14: Ever wanted to build data-crunching beast to beat them all?

HPC blog The ISC’14 Student Cluster Competition closed out last week in Leipzig. What a ride... It was an outstanding competition, with story lines straight from Hollywood. If John Hughes were still making movies, he’d be writing the script and shopping it around the big studios right now. (For those of you who don’t know what a Student …
Scality Use Cases

Los Alamos National Laboratory likes it, puts Scality's RING on it

Scality has upgrade its RING object storage software to v4.3. RING software distributes object storage across multiple server nodes and uses erasure coding to ensure its integrity. Scality claims v4.3 "improves overall performance across a broad range of applications and workloads and enhances enterprise file operations by as …
Chris Mellor, 1 Jul 2014
China's Tianahe-1A Supercomputer

China's world-beating Tianhe-2 super has brawn, not brains

China has put a lot of iron into its 2.5 billion yuan (roughly $US400 million) world-beating home-grown supercomputer, but concerns are now emerging that too much attention on the hardware has come at the expense of giving the system usable software. The latest TOP500 report reconfirmed the position of China's 3-million-core, …
Silent Brick

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

ISC Leipzig 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

Supercomputing speed growth hits 'historical low' in new TOP500 list

There be merriment in the Middle Kingdom: the Tianhe-2 supercomputer at China's National University of Defense Technology is the most powerful datacruncher on the planet (that we know about) for the third time in a row. The TOP500 list, published every six months, noted that the Chinese system hit 33.86 petaflops on the Linpack …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jun 2014
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
Bus jam

MIT boffins build 36 core processor with data-traffic smarts

Researchers at MIT say they have successfully built a 36-core processor that uses an internal networking system to get maximum data throughput from all the processing cores. MIT's new multicore, multi-bus, chip MIT's new multicore, multi-bus chip The design, unveiled at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture, …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jun 2014

Intel teams with Micron on next-gen many-core Xeon Phi with 3D DRAM

Intel has released more details about its future "Knights Landing" Xeon Phi many-core processor, including a new high-speed interconnect tech called Intel Omni Scale Fabric, as well as on-package Micron Gen2 Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC) DRAM of up to 16GB. Intel presentation slide: what's new in Knights Landing Intel's Silvermont …
Rik Myslewski, 23 Jun 2014