Switching to the cloud? Advantages and disadvantages

With tougher economic times, companies are reducing IT budgets but are still finding the need to replace legacy systems. Because of this, claims a Gartner report released earlier this year, many CIOs have turned to cloud computing as a way to save on IT costs. Cloud computing, for all of its recent publicity, is not new. In the decades before PCs, companies purchased computing resources on mini-mainframes that were accessed through end-user terminals. Cloud computing's recent re-emergence is a … [Read more...]

Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) to spur innovation

On June 24, President Obama announced the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) between the federal government, academia, and businesses to help stimulate the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy. We have been following the so-called "Missing Middle" of small- to medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) on this blog, and I'd like to describe some of the recent initiatives to engage this high-potential segment of our economy. Speaking at Carnegie Mellon University, Obama described that AMP … [Read more...]

New online products: workstations, towers and multi-CPU servers

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been adding new configurable products to our online store. In this post, I will cover the workstations, tower servers, and Intel-based quad-CPU rack servers that are now available for sale online. The main difference between an ICC workstation and an ICC tower server is the motherboard (the chassis are in many cases identical to one another). The workstation motherboards have built-in basic sound cards but no on-board graphics cards (the opposite is true … [Read more...]

Cluster computing for small and medium businesses

We've updated our high-density servers webpage with a solution tailored to small and medium businesses (SMB): the ICC Modular Server (IMS). Built on similar principles to blade servers, we are selling our IMS to organizations that can benefit from an upgrade of their current (limited) server resources to an entry-level cluster solution. Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this product to get an idea of whether it's right for you. The ICC Modular Server (IMS) contains … [Read more...]

HPC can grow US manufacturing

HPCwire recently ran a great article describing in a nutshell the potential that high-performance computing (HPC) can have in increasing the competitiveness of US manufacturing. Despite what media coverage about the ailing manufacturing sector may lead one to believe, the US still leads the world in manufacturing output. In 2009, as Michael Feldman of HPCwire describes, the US accounted for 20% of the world's manufacturing output and was 45% more productive in this area than … [Read more...]

ICC Builds Solution for NCSA “Dark Energy Survey”

International Computer Concepts, with partner LSI, has developed a supercomputing solution for one of the most challenging astronomy projects ever conceived. The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is an organization that develops and deploys national-scale cyberinfrastructure that advances science and engineering, providing high performance computing (HPC) resources to researchers across the country. Leading-edge computing, data storage, and visualization resources come … [Read more...]

National Center for Supercomputing Applications turns 25

Miles south of Chicago, amid the wind-swept flatlands of central Illinois, is the home of perhaps the world's next fastest supercomputer. The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, which is co-developing the Blue Waters supercomputer, is today at the forefront of petascale computing. But 25 years ago, when the Center revved up its first machine, the computing world looked much different. This article looks back at the … [Read more...]

U.S. manufacturing and HPC: A bold plan to equip the “missing middle”

HPC in the Cloud ran an article last week written by Jon Riley of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS). The article talked about the initiative by NCMS to rejuvenate manufacturing in the United States by connecting manufacturers with supercomputing hardware and software to make them more competitive in the global marketplace. The leap from tried-and-true methods to newer technologies has historically been a difficult one, but it almost always pays off big in the long run. In … [Read more...]

Graph 500, Green500, HPCC, and SPEC: Alternative benchmarks for high-performance computing

Supercomputers have become a vital part of almost any innovative project undertaken by collaborative teams in the developed world. Server clusters can be found anywhere from the offices of small businesses to compartments in U.S. Navy submarines. So which are the fastest supercomputers on earth? The usual measurement for high-performance computer (HPC) clusters is the TOP500 ranking, which is based on the High Performance LINPACK (HPL) benchmark. LINPACK stands for "linear equations software … [Read more...]

Cloud computing security

Tom's Hardware featured an article last week which sought some general answers to the question of how to maximize security in the cloud. As more and more companies migrate their IT resources towards cloud-computing vendors such as Amazon Web Services, the issue of securing one's data on somebody else's machines has been rightly generating much attention. The article delineated four main areas of focus when it comes to cloud security: Data Encryption - There are various ways to ensure that … [Read more...]