Sun Bulks Up HPC OfferingsBy Jeffrey Burt | Posted 2006-11-14 Print
At the Supercomputing 2006 show, the OEM rolls out a host of hardware, software and services aimed at the high-performance computing space.
Sun Microsystems is lengthening its list of high-performance computer offerings with new hardware, software and services designed to let users quickly deploy the necessary technologies to build compute-intensive environments.
The new products and services, introduced Nov. 14 at the Supercomputing 2006 show in Tampa, Fla., including a new blade server specially developed for HPC, a new workstation, a service that allow for fast building and deploying of HPC environments, storage offerings and developer tools.
"The [HPC] market is large and growing fast," said Bjorn Andersson, director of Sun's HPC and integrated systems business.
"HPC is a leading-edge market. Technology and products get introduced in HPC and then make the transition over to the commercial market."
The hardware offerings Sun, of Santa Clara, Calif., unveiled at the show include the Sun Blade 8000 P, a system powered by Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron processor and specially designed for clusters and grid computing.
The blade offers three times the density of rack-mount servers at 43 percent less power required, with up to 240 processing cores and 1.248 teraflops per rack, said Michael McNerney, director of Sun's blades server product line.
The Ultra 40 M2 workstation also runs on Opteron. In addition, based on its servers and workstations, Sun is offering a visualization system for HPC deployments as well as the Sun Grid Rack System for Scalable Storage, based on its Sun Fire X4500 hybrid storage server, formerly code-named "Thumper."
With that product, Sun is working with Cluster File Systems, of Seattle, Wash., to deploy that company's Lustre file system on the X4500.
Sun also rolled out its HPC Quick Start Services, which help customers architect, design and manage their HPC environment.
Through the service, Sun representatives go on-site to evaluate a customer's current set up, make recommendations for improvements, and then guide the customer from designing to managing it, Andersson said.
Other Sun announcements include new modules for the Grid Engine open-source project, including the Grid Engine Service Domain Management technology for dynamic resource allocation and the Grid Engine Accounting and Reporting Console for source code access.
Sun is offering a preview version of Studio Express for compilers and tools for Solaris and Linux, and an early access program HPC Cluster Tools 7, which supports InfiniBand and is based on Open MPI (Message Passing Interface).
Sun also is doing a trial run with a number of open-source applications to be put into the application catalog of its Sun Grid hosted HPC environment.
Among the applications to be hosted are FASTA, which is used for protein sequencing, and BLAST (Basic Logical Alignment Search Tool) for the bioinformatics field, said Jim Parkinson, vice president of engineering for Sun Grid.
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