From the Wires
SDSC Chooses Appro for a Major Next-Generation Supercomputer Design
Appro and Intel Collaborate to Develop Future Supercomputing Technologies
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 9, 2009 07:00 AM
MILPITAS, Calif., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Appro (http://www.appro.com), a leading provider of high-performance computing systems, announces today a major design win for the next generation Appro Xtreme-X(TM) Supercomputer, named "Gordon" by the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego. This win is a result of a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build and operate a powerful supercomputer dedicated to solving critical science and societal problems using advanced HPC technology.
This supercomputer, to be built on Appro's Xtreme-X(TM) next generation architecture, employs a vast amount of flash memory to help speed compute solutions now hamstrung by slower spinning disk technology. This is one of the world's first high performance computing systems to employ massive amounts of Intel® SSD flash memory to greatly reduce I/O latency. Also, new "supernodes" will exploit virtual shared-memory software to create large shared-memory systems that increase compute speed and yield results faster for the most demanding applications.
When fully configured and deployed in 2011, Gordon will feature 245 teraflops of total compute power (one teraflop or TF equals a trillion calculations per second), 64 terabytes (TB) of DRAM (digital random access memory), 256 TB of flash memory, and four petabytes of disk storage (one petabyte or PB equals one quadrillion bytes of data.)
"The higher end of the HPC market is one of the faster-growing HPC segments and IDC projects that it will continue to see healthy growth over the next 3 to 5 years as more countries and organizations apply very large HPC systems to address leading scientific and engineering problems," said Steve Conway, IDC Research Vice President for Technical Computing. "With the San Diego Supercomputer Center contract, Appro proved it can win major HPC procurements and supercomputer designs with state-of-the-art technological innovations including flash technology and large shared memory wrapped around a full-featured remote management system."
The new supercomputer's key feature will be 32 "supernodes" based on the latest Intel® Xeon® Processors available in 2011 combined with several state-of-the-art technological innovations to include virtual shared-memory software. Using virtual shared-memory software, each of the system's 32 supernodes has the potential of 7.7 TF of power and 10 TB of memory (2 TB of DRAM and 8 TB of flash memory). The supernodes will be interconnected via an InfiniBand network, capable of 16 gigabits per second of bi-directional bandwidth - that's eight times faster than some of the most powerful national supercomputers to come on-line in recent months. This combination of raw power, flash technology, and large-shared memory on a single supernode, coupled with high-bandwidth across the system, is expected to reduce the time and complexity often experienced when researchers tackle data-intensive problems that don't scale well on today's massively parallel supercomputers. The system will come pre-configured with the Appro Cluster Engine(TM) (ACE) management software designed to manage large numbers of independent physical computers connected together by high-speed networks, allowing them to function as a single computing system. The complete remote management suite includes network, server, cluster and storage management.
"SDSC is recognized as a national leader in creating and providing cyber-infrastructure for data-intensive research," said Daniel Kim, CEO of Appro. "SDSC is also dedicated to elevate the competitiveness of advanced technologies to accelerate supercomputer performance. We welcome this opportunity to work with SDSC to provide cutting-edge, advanced supercomputing solutions to fulfill this significant award."
"The new SDSC supercomputer will provide benefits to many potential scientific applications to include both academic and industrial researchers in need of fast, interactive methods to manipulate large volumes of structured data," said SDSC Interim Director Michael Norman. "Gordon will become a key part of a network of next-generation high-performance computers (HPC) being made available to the research community through an open-access national grid."
Research will include the analysis of individual genomes to tailor drugs to specific patients, the development of more accurate models to predict the impact of earthquakes on buildings and other structures, and simulations that offer greater insights into what's happening to the planet's climate.
"Appro Xtreme-X Architecture rises to the challenge of the San Diego Supercomputer Center's computational demands with delivery of a balanced solution which blends the best of breed for compute, network and storage," said Richard Dracott, General Manager of High Performance Computing at Intel Corporation. "Platforms with the next generation Intel® Xeon® processors and next generation Intel® SSDs will maximize I/O capabilities and flash memory support to analyze large data sets used by SDSC to answer modern science's critical problems."
Appro is a leading developer of supercomputing solutions. Appro is uniquely positioned to support High Performance Computing markets focusing on small to large-scale deployments where lowest total cost of ownership is a primary consideration. Appro accelerates technical applications and business results unlocking the value of IT through outstanding price/performance, balanced architecture, open standards and engineering expertise. Appro headquarters is in Milpitas, CA with offices in Korea and Houston, TX. To learn more go to http://www.appro.com.
San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC): http://www.sdsc.edu/News%20Items/PR110409_gordon.html
National Science Foundation: http://www.nsf.gov/
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