Sun buffs InfiniBand for Constellation supers

The Register takes a look at the recent enhancements to the Sun Constellation System:

“To be fair, the Constellation boxes have been a bright spot for Sun, which is finally getting some play on the Top 500 list of supercomputers. About a quarter of the petaflops that Sun has shipped or that are on order for Constellation boxes come from one machine, the “Ranger” Constellation box at the University of Texas, with a few other big deals contributing tens of teraflops on top of that. Constellation needs a lot more sales, as do Sun’s generic rack and blade servers for customers who don’t want to adopt InfiniBand and who might prefer cheap Gigabit Ethernet or alternative 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching.” Full Story


Sun HPC Software, Developer Edition 1.0 for OpenSolaris

Yesterday we announced Sun HPC Software, Developer Edition 1.0 for OpenSolaris, which provides a pre-configured, integrated development environment to enable developers to quickly and efficiently create, debug and deploy parallel applications. It takes advantage of virtualization for easy installation and seamlessly integrates with a cloud environment for extreme scalability.
At a Glance
– Fully featured HPC development environment distributed as a virtual machine (VM).
– Pre-configured as a grid enabled, virtual HPC cluster comprised of three OpenSolaris zones.
– Turn-key parallel application development environment with distributed resource management and cloud connectivity built in and ready to go.
– Sun Studio and Sun HPC ClusterTools come pre-installed and configured, providing Fortran, C and C++ compilers, MPI libraries, performance analysis and debugging tools, high performance scientific libraries and an intuitive IDE for application development.
– Sample applications are included in the installation to get you up and running quickly. Full Story

Sun Constellation System Steps Up with M9

Sun is announcing new products today that demonstrate continued innovation and expansion of the Sun Constellation System. Designed using Sun’s Open Network Systems architecture, the Sun Constellation System is one of the most integrated and balanced HPC system available today. Full Story
Highlights include:
Sun Datacenter InfiniBand QDR Switch 648: Delivers extreme density, performance and reduced deployment complexity with up to three times more ports per rack, four and a half times more system bandwidth, and up to 3:1 cable reduction than competitive Double Data Rate (DDR) switch solutions.
Sun HPC Software, Linux Edition 2.0: Makes it faster and easier to install Linux-based environments by providing an integrated Linux software stack for HPC solutions, and gives customers a choice of running SUSE 10, CentOS and Red Hat Linux.
Lustre 1.8.: Introduces several robust new features to improve system performance and functionality, including the adaptive timeouts feature, client interoperability feature, OSS read cache feature and Version-based Recovery (VBR).

Sun Fire MSC NASTRAN results

As reported on Inside HPC, the Sun BestPerf blog posts performance results of the Sun Fire X2270 (with quad-core Xeon 5570s) running the MSC NASTRAN Vendor_2008 benchmark. SSD truly does accelerate performance. Full Story

SSDs in HPC: Reducing the I/O Bottleneck

This new Sun BluePrints article focuses on a comparison between traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) and the newer solid state drive (SSD) technology in high-performance computing (HPC) applications. SSD devices can help correct the imbalance between processor and storage speed while also reducing energy usage and environmental impact. This comparison was performed using two approaches:
Application-based benchmarking was performed using the ABAQUS, NASTRAN, and ANSYS finite-element analysis (FEA) applications, in order to evaluate the effect of SSD technology in realistic HPC applications. These applications are commonly used to benchmark HPC systems. Benchmark testing of storage performance using the Lustre™ parallel file system and the popular IOZone benchmark application was performed, in order to evaluate large sequential I/O operations typical for the Lustre file system employed as a compute cluster data cache. Full Story

HPC Advisory Council Announces HPC Outreach Programs

A reported by Inside HPC, the HPC Advisory Council has announced a new series of programs and workshops in order to expand high performance computing in education, industry and scientific applications. For more info on the range of upcoming events and programs, read the full release here.

Sun makes HPC Parallel Programming easy

Bruce Rothermal blogs that Sun is making it easy to get your feet wet with HPC and Cloud Computing:

“Sun developers have heard your wishes and made it easy for everyone wanting to learn how with HPC Developer Stack. Sun has put together a complete setup for development and testing of the software you want to create. Everything is combined in a single Virtual Machine Image. You can write the code in C, C++, Java, Fortran and many other scripting languages Bourne, bash, C-shell, tclsh, perl, python and more. The Virtual Machine Image uses Solaris Zones and SGE to give you a virtual grid computing system. Everything wrapped up in a single Virtual Image. So from a single laptop or desktop you have everything to get started.” Full Story