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...]

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...]

China builds the world’s fastest supercomputer

After almost a year-long run, the Jaguar supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee has relinquished its title as the world's fastest computer. This honor now belongs to the Tianhe-1A supercomputer located in the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China. Tianhe-1A is expected to officially become the leader of the list of the world's fastest supercomputers sometime in mid-November. It clocked an impressive 2.507 petaflops on the LINPACK scale, which is … [Read more...]

HPC and the life sciences

This week, a team from our company visited a large laboratory located in the Chicago area. IT representatives there told us how a major focus for them has been migrating their computing resources from a model of individual workgroups using separate clusters to a shared private cloud that all research teams in the facility can access for running their jobs. This shift to private clouds for getting the most out of dedicated clusters is a hot topic of conversation in the HPC world. HPC in the … [Read more...]

HPC and the Missing Middle in the Silicon Prairie

HPC in the Cloud, a very insightful and well-written blog, published an article titled "HPC 360 Highlights Manufacturing's Missing Middle". There, author Nicole Hemsoth describes how a sector of the U.S. economy is losing competitiveness because companies are failing to take advantage of new computing technology. This sector, called manufacturing's "missing middle", is comprised of the companies that furnish the large factories of the Midwest with the myriads of components and services that … [Read more...]

Worldwide race heats up for HPC leadership

An article in Computer World by Patrick Thibodeau reports how David Turek, the vice-president of IBM, spoke last week about the growing emergence of China in the worldwide HPC competition. Turek said, “Within a year, there will be more Top500 systems in China than there are in Europe collectively.” China currently holds the claim to having built the second-fastest supercomputer in the world. The U.S., according to the article, has 282 supercomputers in the Top500 listing, China contributes … [Read more...]

Microsoft HPC Server 2008 R2 – cool new features

Yesterday, at an HPC conference for the financial industry, Microsoft announced an update (R2) for Windows HPC Server 2008. Aside from offering new features that will take advantage of innovations in cloud computing, Microsoft claims that this update will make HPC Server 2008 less expensive to operate than Linux. The reasoning, according to Microsoft, is that Linux requires much expensive expertise to use while the Windows interface is familiar to just about anybody in computing. Moreover, as … [Read more...]