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Big Mac achieves around 14 TFlops with 128 Nodes

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the thats-a-lotta-flops dept.

Technology (Apple) 307

mzs writes "The Virginia Tech G5 cluster has achieved around 80% of its peak performance in preliminary Linpack testing with 128 nodes according to Jack Dongarra at the Top 500. "They're getting about 80 percent of the theoretical peak," Dongarra said. "If it holds, and it's unclear if it will, it has the potential to be the world's second most powerful machine." Typically getting 60% of peak in the Top 500 lists is quite good. If the Big Mac cluster achieves 60% of peak it would displace the 2,300 2.4 GHz Xeon cluster at LLNL for the number three spot on the current list."

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Cock is the ass killer FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231623)

Bene Gesserit Litany Against Cock

I must not suck cock

Cock is the ass-killer

Cock is the anal-invader that brings total goatse

I will face the cock

I will permit it to come in me and on me

And when it has gone in my ass I will turn the inner eye and see its entry

When the cock has gone there will be staining

Only my ass will remain

Re:Cock is the ass killer FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231722)

that litany doesn't make any sense

Re:Cock is the ass killer FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231733)

Neither did fucking goatse but did that stop you? noooooo...

Re:Cock is the ass killer FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231753)

Who the hell modded this offtopic?

This is an apple story, isn't it?

Mmm Big mac (2, Funny)

pheared (446683) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231635)

Anyone remember Happy Meal Ethernet and Big Mac Ethernet?

Re:Mmm Big mac (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231655)

mmm.. God, only thing worse than macs are linux boxes.

No wait, linux zealots at least realize that linux sucks for certain things.

God I hate apple.

Get a real computer, then come post on slashdot.
Grandmas.

Re:Mmm Big mac (1)

pheared (446683) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231695)

Wow you are so stupid or just a really bad troll or C) all of the above.

Re:Mmm Big mac (0)

dthable (163749) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231723)

Don't feed the trolls....once they develop a taste, they'll keep coming back.

Re:Mmm Big mac (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231799)

Happy Meal Ethernet

Damn I felt so stupid...that was the worst indigestion I've ever had! Not only that, the packets had no ketchup in them at all! Not one drop! What a ripoff.

D'oh! (1)

themassiah (80330) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231636)

Imagine a beo .... son of a bitch. They beat me to it.

Re:D'oh! (0)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231760)

*sigh* Insensitive clods huh??? Well I for one welcome our new Big Mac overlords

*takes a bow, nyuck nyuck*

Mod this trash down! (0)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231930)

Also moderate down the other reply post by tekiegreg.

Want more info on crappy posts, read my journal entry (click the link in the current sig).

nope... (2, Informative)

Durinia (72612) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231639)


Title is wrong - they get 80% efficiency on 128 nodes. The 14 TFlops number is if that efficiency is held through the full size of the machine (2000+ processors).

Re:nope... (1)

snarkh (118018) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231732)

It is amusing that the submitter apparently had not bothered to read the article.

Re:nope... (2, Informative)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231815)

And that isn't very likely. The efficiency of large clusters drops with every node. Expect somewhere in the 60% range as a final efficiency. I think.

Re:nope... (1)

Durinia (72612) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231925)


I was going to tack on something like "...which it won't." to the end of my post, but I thought it would get interpreted as an opinion as opposed to pointed out that the submitter was on crack. ;)

Re:nope... (2, Insightful)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231926)

I was going to say that something seemed terribly wrong... because when I read that I interpreted it as 128 nodes were pumping out 80% of it's peak at 14Tflops...

if that were the case then the last 972 nodes would almost be a complete waste if they only gave a 20% preformance increase.

good call on that Durinia!

To quote G. W. Bush: "Enough is Enough" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231644)

My apologies; however, I have to ask:

But will it run Windoze?

Thanks in advance,
W00t

Re:To quote G. W. Bush: "Enough is Enough" (4, Funny)

dthable (163749) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231741)

Yes. Yes it will. [microsoft.com]

What happened to the federal controls? (2, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231648)

So, looking at this, I am wondering if the federal constraints on computer exports are still in place? This Apple supercluster shows that just about anyone now could afford to build a supercomputer giving smaller countries access to compute cycles never before dreamed of for relatively few $$'s

Re:What happened to the federal controls? (1)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231687)

Not even building a supercomputer becomes teh issue. Remember when Apple came out with a new computer that they boasted couldnt be exported to certain countries. Eventually at the rate we will be going most desktop computers will be supercomputers, so will the rules either change, or will these countries not be able to buy new computers?

Re:What happened to the federal controls? (1)

spitefulcrow (713858) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231772)

Why are there even federal controls on the power of computers that can be exported anyway?

Re:What happened to the federal controls? (1)

doktor-hladnjak (650513) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231832)

Why are there even federal controls on the power of computers that can be exported anyway?

Keep in mind that one of the first major uses for supercomputers (or any computers for that matter) was for breaking cryptography (ie, German codes during WW2). I'd imagine the restriction was done in the name of national security.

Re:What happened to the federal controls? (2, Informative)

bofkentucky (555107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231916)

Nukes, nukes, and more nukes
Testing/developing a nuke program is much easier on a supercomputer than attempting live tests like the USSR, USA, France, Red China, and the UK did back in the 40-70's. Infact, a test detonation by a "unknown" would be sufficent grounds for a beat down by those countries or your neighbors (see Israel vs. Iraq, 1981) India and Pakistan have been allowed nukes mainly as a local deterent to keep 1-2 billion people from dying in South-Central Asia in the Indo-Muslim war that has been brewing for 50 years .

Re:What happened to the federal controls? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231790)

What happends if you build beowulf clusters out of beowulf clusters?

G4, G5 (2, Funny)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231650)

When will Slashdot add or change the G4 icon to G5?

Re:G4, G5 (1)

Ryan Stortz (598060) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231749)

When will Slashdot add or change the G4 icon to G5?

Don't you mean a giant heatsink?

Re:G4, G5 (1)

eshefer (12336) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231796)

> Don't you mean a giant heatsink?

I think he means this [home-evolution.com] .

Re:G4, G5-ROTFLMAO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231953)

Most indubitoubly or however the hell it's speeled.

Re:G4, G5 (0)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231882)

that would involve effort on the editors part.

someone had to say it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231651)

Imagine a McDonalds cluster of these.

[ducks and runs]

Re:someone had to say it (1, Funny)

sbowles (602816) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231824)

Otherwise known as a "Franchise".

Two things you are not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231954)

1. Right.
2. Funny.

"Chain" is the word you are looking for.

Of course... (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231656)


There are weenies that will say "Psstt.. you know that #2 computer in the Big 500? It only has one button on the mouse!"

Re:Of course... (1)

johnny0101 (617627) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231711)

But it has 1100 mice!! more than enough buttons ;) It would be really cool if they hooked up a 24 inch display to each of the machines and put them all on the wall to make one big @$$ wall display... (screw the performance!!)

Re:Of course... (0)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231726)

I have never understood apples refusal to put a second button on the mouse.

Re:Of course... (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231848)

I have never understood apples refusal to put a second button on the mouse.

Because you only need one button to get a mouse to squeak. Well, I suppose the second button could be used to operate the Pez dispensor at the back...mmmm.

But feel the POWER of that one button!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231914)

Click!!

When are Slashdot and MacSlash going to merge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231659)

A few non-Mac related news stories once in a while would be nice. Sheesh. Back to our regularly scheduled Macsturbatory hourly updates on VA Tech.

Re:When are Slashdot and MacSlash going to merge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231947)

Yeah, no shit! I want my daily fix of SCO, Verisign, and inane case mods. Fuck this super-computer shit!

hello... (1)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231663)

If the Big Mac cluster achieves 60% of peak

They ALREADY achieved 80% of peak, is the submitter listening?

Re:hello... (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231698)

THey achieved 80% peak with 128 processors. The more processors you add the more it comes down from peak. No supercomputer achieves peak.

Re:hello... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231724)

yah, but that's with only 128 processors. Odds are, efficiency of scaling goes down with additional units.

Re:hello... (1)

Querty (1128) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231750)

As remarked above this is only for a 128 node test. If they keep it up at 80% for the full 2000+ nodes, it will be quite impressive.

Re:hello... (1)

Lank (19922) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231754)

Yeah, 80% on _128_ machines... The more machines you add into the cluster, the more synchronization and locking you have to do. On a 2-way machine, that's nothing. As more and more CPUs compete for the same resources, though, contention becomes a huge problem, and the percentage of useful work continually goes down.

Re:hello... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231786)

If herrvinny achieved 60% reading comprehension, he'd make the top 10 list of slashdotters.

RTFA, moron, especially before complaining about submitters talking about things you don't understand.

Re:hello... (0)

neilb78 (557698) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231952)

That was the preliminary ????

Promptly bitchslapped for ignorance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231964)

ha ha ha!

slashdotting (-1, Offtopic)

returnoftheyeti (678724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231666)

testing my webserver to see how well it does against slashdotting.

www.southend.org

Re:slashdotting (0, Offtopic)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231717)

You want a /., I'll help you. I'm reloading as fast as possible on your site.

Re:slashdotting (0, Offtopic)

jcrash (516507) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231736)

then learn how to post a link

Southend.org [pornolize.com]

Re:slashdotting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231896)

I'm wget -r'ing your site now.

HTH ;-)

(But, for a real slashdotting, you need something actually interesting and stressful.. lots of images, a large video, a small MySQL DB running.)

Mass storage? (1)

draziw (7737) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231667)

What is it using for disk space? MCR @ LLNL is using the Lustre [lustre.org] file system with DataDirect Networks [datadirectnet.com] storage.

How Many... (0)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231669)

How many libraries of congress is this per second?

Re:How Many... (0)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231721)

About 3 football fields. :)

I strongly doubt (1)

johnny0101 (617627) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231673)

that the 80% holds as more and more nodes are added. Wouldn't each additional node have to be 100% efficient for this to happen... (ok so let's whip out the math induction and prove this is not possible)

Re:I strongly doubt (1)

coolmacdude (640605) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231762)

Wouldn't each additional node have to be 100% efficient for this to happen

No. They would only have to be the same 80%. What this test is saying is that 128 nodes together are producing 80% of their theoretical peak (around 1.6 of 2 TFlops). If this efficiency is replicated through the rest of the nodes the final output would be around 80% of its peak (around 14 of 17.6 TFlops).

Re:I strongly doubt (1)

johnny0101 (617627) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231782)

yeah you're right. my fingers type faster than my brain moves... :D

Why is the list so important? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231676)

The Top 500 list is like the "Hot or Not?" for supercomputers. Do people really need to spend money and time to make it on a list that most people just aren't going to care about?

It would be cheaper to just give the scientists each a Trans Am so then at least the general masses would be aware of the scientists' penis envy.

Re:Why is the list so important? (0)

pmz (462998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231889)

It would be cheaper to just give the scientists each a Trans Am so then at least the general masses would be aware of the scientists' penis envy.

Depending on the age of the trans am, all it will do is make your penis like either country or metal. Envy simply isn't a part of the equation.

Thats one fast Mac (1)

visionsofmcskill (556169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231680)

With only 1100 macs to achieve the second rank of the TOP 500 computers for a measly 5.2 million... it makes one wonder why in the world the opteron or itanium's arent used in this type of cluster to achieve similar if not greater results?

This is tremendous advertising for apple, but what about clusters of Power4's and 5's? why wouldnt they out-perform this cluster? at 14tflops... would 2200 macs be fairly equal to the earth simulator?

And lastly with IBM seeing their G5's at 3Ghz in 8 months or so.... do you think we will also see a 50% increase in power? i.e. 21tflops for 1100 machines? i know this doesnt translate directly.... but holy mackeral.

Re:Thats one fast Mac (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231908)

what about clusters of Power4's and 5's?

The Power Mac version of the IBM POWER chips probably scales better with cost/performance. POWER/UltraSPARC/Itanic are really best suited to high-reliability workhorse servers. Clusters probably don't need ultra-high reliability if they can program around it.

Re:Thats one fast Mac (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231971)

There are itanium clusters, they don't even begin to compete. That's the whole point. finally someone with a few bucks is realizing those macs have dirt cheap fast RISC processors that blow away x86 clones. Of course they dumped the bloated macos and installed linux, again as I've said should be done all along ;)

That's nothing... (4, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231691)

Big Mac also achieved around 14 KTons with 128 kids.

yeah blah blah blah #3 on the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231693)

yeah blah blah blah #3 on the list but

does it run the Doom 3?

My sis needs a lesson (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231696)

My 13-year old sister is a slut and really needs to be put in her place. She's sleeping around with some 15-18 year old assholes whenever our parents are away.

I don't want her to end up in hell, so please help me. If you live in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, are approximately 13-25 years old and have a non-terminal, treatable STD like syphilies I'd like to introduce you to my sis.

The point is that you have sex with her (ONCE!), give her an STD and scare the hell out of her so that she'll never even dream about having sex before she's 18.

Idea... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231751)

Hmm. Can't help you with the social disease (I'm clean) but I could pump your sis right full to the brim with baby batter instead -- nice pregnancy scare should scare her straight. She's not on the pill or anything is she?

You know, "I love you baby, oh baby, I'll pull out when I pop.. oh baby..." then WHAM! She'll have a runny nose and something to think good and hard about for 28 days.

Thoughts?

Re:Idea... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231791)

Mmmm... I don't think so.

Having a social disease is a one thing and getting rid of a baby is another. Your plan could work if you're sterile, though.

Re:Idea... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231884)

Yeh... You're probably right. The strong possibility of knocking her up is probably a bit too much, considering what your intent is. Sorry.

Good luck! I'm sure there's someone on Slashdot that can help you out.

Big Mac? (1)

xtermz (234073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231697)

...If the Big Mac cluster achieves 60% of peak ...

Big Mac cluster? What's that do, display in real time the flow of special sauce molecules over the surface of a flame broiled patty?

Re:Big Mac? (1)

Eric Ass Raymond (662593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231743)

special sauce molecules

I hope you're not talking about the open sauce?

Re:Big Mac? (1)

pixelgeek (676892) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231928)

MacDonalds doesn't flame broil their patties they are fried.

Re:Big Mac? (1)

pmz (462998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231929)

Big Mac cluster?

Sure, as long as the cooling system is pumping Mylanta.

Whoops I got that title wrong (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231719)

Just to elaborate, the 14 TFlops is if Big Mac achieves 80% of peak with the full 1100 nodes. 14 TFlops with just 256 PPC 970 cpus is completely implausible. I cannot believe I wrote that, sorry about it my mistake.

MOD PARENT UP! N/T (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231863)

No text.

good god windows itunes is out! (0, Offtopic)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231727)

itunes for windows is out and /. wont accept my story! ugh! it a much bigger story here is the link a href=http://www.macrumors.com/events/musicevent200 3.html> story
geez im just gonna hve to wait until they accpet someone else's story

Re:good god windows itunes is out! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231873)

Ya think maybe because a hundred other people probably submitted the same story? Hell, /. ran a story just a few days ago about it coming out, it's not like you're coming up with some breaking news exclusive.

So what? (1)

sherpajohn (113531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231731)

IBM has 49 of the top 100 from the last list. Who cares whose on top if you make almost half of the 100 fastest computers in the world?

Yes, this is a troll post. I am pissed the submission after the Napster 2 one wasn't the itunes4Windows announcement.

rejected my story! (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231755)

2003-10-16 18:22:14 iTunes for windows launched (articles,apple) (rejected)

AAAGH!

Re:rejected my story! (1)

sherpajohn (113531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231937)

The fools! I want very much to find out if this is going to be available in Canada. Our "new" service - purecrap.com has about as much electronica as a folk festival.

For those who think InfiniBand went away... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231769)

"The choice of InfiniBand as the interconnect for this cluster filled a critical missing piece in creating a world class cluster, based solely upon industry standard computing components," says Hassan Aref, dean of Virginia Tech's College of Engineering. "Unlike its predecessors, InfiniBand is an industry standard and it provides the fastest high performance interconnect available today."

www.supercomputingonline.com/article.php?sid=4316 [supercomputingonline.com]

Topic Icon (2, Informative)

47Ronin (39566) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231777)

Time to replace the G4 icon with a G5 pic dont you think??

Like this for example > http://www.apple.com/g5processor/ [apple.com]

Now I know what I have to do... (1)

downix (84795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231800)

Break into the labs and use this baby to run some RC5 cracks! My team will be unstoppable!

Great feat - IBM! (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231808)

Great feat - IBM!

Why is everyone so obsesses with Apple when it comes to G5? What does Apple have to do with the G5?! This is the kiddie version of IBM's success CPU named Power4, if I'm not totally incorrect.

Apple, to me, is a group of cosmetologist hangarounds. ;)

The question is... (0)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231816)

Would you like fries with that?

-- Dr. Eldarion --

Only 64 Nodes (1)

coolmacdude (640605) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231820)

The submitter stated 128 nodes. This is wrong. The article states 128 processors which would be 64 nodes.

Dear Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231827)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

herrvinny (1)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231830)

Okay, I RTFA'ed, and it looks good. Hope they can keep the 80%. I wonder if I can pester U of Wisc at Madison to fund a $10 million Apple supercomputer.

By the way, I just downloaded iTunes for Windows from Apple's site. Apple is really basking in the sunlight here....

What? (1)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231840)

Big Mac achieves around 14 TFlops...

All this time the answer to my supercomputing needs was at McDonalds. What a burger!

THHGTTG (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231846)

So is this Big Mac thing faster then the Bistro in the hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?

Dear Father O'Day (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231853)

Dear Father O'Day,

Thanks for your letter. Being Catholic myself, I know exactly what you're talking about! It has always been our plan here at Apple Computer Inc to revolutionize personal computing with our high-quality and highly gay products.

I'm happy to answer your letter by letting you know that YES we will be releasing an entire hLife ("homo-life") software line. You'll be able to recognize it in stores by the small stylized logo depicting a large cock entering a tight anus with an Apple logo on it. ("Suddenly it all comes together" indeed!).

Anyway, I hope you and other members of our community will join us on our mission, and purchase the exciting new hLife boxed set. Only the boxed set comes with translucent cock rings!

Sincerely,

Harry Rodman
Vice-president
Homosexual Liaison Services
Apple Computer, Inc.

Aren't they late??? (1)

azpcox (88971) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231862)

Or do they have a note from their CS professor that their dog ate their last cluster...

Efficiency to Burn (1)

coolmacdude (640605) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231883)

It should be noted that the final result doesn't need to be anywhere near 80% efficiency to assure it second place on the list. The third place machine is only around 7 TFlops, meaning Big Mac could operate at as low as 40 to 45 percent efficiency and still take second.

Re:Efficiency to Burn (1)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231921)

"We're just making up numbers here," Dongarra cautioned. "We don't have real numbers yet. If they get 80 percent, it will be slightly faster than (ASCI Q, the current No. 2 on the Top 500 list)." Built by Hewlett-Packard for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, ASCI Q is based on 8,000 Alpha processors and operates at 13.8 teraflops.

What are you talking about? They have to displace the SECOND place computer to be second. It operates at 13.8 TF. Virginia Tech is going to need to squeeze every last flop they can get out of this machine

What compiler are they using? (1)

iJed (594606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231887)

I wonder if they are using GCC3.3 or IBM XL C. Apparently the performance from code generated by the IBM compiler far exceeds that generated by the latest PPC GCC.

Premature (2, Insightful)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231924)

The article says
"We're just making up numbers here," Dongarra cautioned. "We don't have real numbers yet. If they get 80 percent, it will be slightly faster than (ASCI Q, the current No. 2 on the Top 500 list)."
Then a little later, the article says:
Lockhart cautioned that even if Big Mac beat most of the machines in the current Top 10, the list, which is compiled twice a year, is a moving target. Lockhart said there are four or five new supercomputers coming online that also may qualify for places in the Top 10.
So to summarize, the data aren't in and nobody will really know where the machine ranks until all the data are in. About the only outcome one would expect is that the machine would outperform older technology.

I wonder what they could do with a WHOPPER array! (1)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231933)

Of course, it might get out of hand....everyone knoes it takes two hands to handle the whopper!

hrmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231944)

Imagine Running iTunes on this thing... ::hint hint::

OT but important: Linux security is a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231951)

Too Many Hacks

The open-source community should abandon its piecemeal approach to securing Linux-- and soon.

By Hal Flynn Oct 15 2003 03:23PM PT

When I was a kid growing up in Arizona, I used to spend most of my time playing with the other kids that lived up the street. We would do the things that young American boys do: beat each other up, call each other names, and perform really dangerous tricks with our bikes. This was life before the discovery of girls.

One summer, one of the kids found the site of a freshly demolished building, which had been recently bulldozed. There were several heaps of rubble and huge mounds of dirt; perfect for jumping. When the friend came back and told us all about the site, we quickly jumped on our bikes, ready to go; all except one kid, who had a strange bulge in his bike tire. Knowing I could probably fix the problem, or at least ask my Dad to help me fix it, I jumped on his bike and quickly rode it home.

I dug around in Dad's toolbox and went to work on taking the bike tire apart with a screwdriver. After hearing the noise, my Dad came outside to see what I was doing. Upon discovering that I was trying to fix the tire, Dad said to me, "Make sure you fix it right the first time son. Otherwise, you'll look like a donkey."

Those words come back to me when I look at the direction Linux security is taking.

Recently, a post to the Bugtraq mailing list by security researcher Zaraza reminded the community of a problem in inetd, the Internet Super-Server. Inetd times out after receiving a large amount of connections within one minute, and refuses all connections for ten minutes afterwards.
The Linux community should participate in the Trusted Computing Group... or start its own.
This isn't a new problem. Daniel J. Bernstein (DJB), the University of Illinois at Chicago professor known for his venomous tirades and clever coding solutions, stepped up to solve this issue years ago by creating a special software package called ucspi-tcp, consisting of tcpserver and tcpclient. True to DJB form, he distributes the package through a Web page that details exactly how crappy inetd is, and why ucspi-tcp is better.

True to the UNIX way, another program that performs a specific task very well was designed and released, rather than depending on the application itself or lower-level system internals. DJB just introduced another program with an entirely new set of limitations, when programmers should move to designing applications that are network-aware. In essence, a hack was resolved with another hack.

The modular kernel in UNIX systems is another example of a hacked solution. When implemented, it had the best of intentions. It was designed to conserve kernel memory by using modular pieces of code that can be inserted as needed, and removed, while the system continues to run. In theory, this is a great idea.

However, modular code has one big drawback. It is possible for the administrative user to load modules on the fly in kernels configured to support it. This sounds a lot like a feature, until one considers a person without legitimate administrative access: If a person of questionable integrity can load a module, the system can be made to lie at its lowest level.

Trustworthy Linux
A few different groups of people recognized this problem. For example, those in the Solaris community decided that the best way to handle this is to use Role-Based Access Control to strip the administrative user of the ability to load kernel modules. This functionality could also be extended to other parts of the system as well.

In the Linux community, the general consensus was that this issue is best dealt with by creating a static kernel without loadable modules. Remove the functionality, and you remove the potential abuse.

But this was just another new hurdle on the obstacle course, and it was only a matter of time before someone cleared it: in this case a hacker named Silvio Cesare, who proved with an alarming degree of success that one can patch a statically compiled kernel in memory. As time progresses, this will probably evolve into the standard means of putting a backdoor in a Linux system.

The solution to this problem exists in hardware, not software. The Linux community needs to participate in the Trusted Computing Group, an industry standards body comprised of several big technology players working to create secure computers from the hardware level up.

Alternatively, the community needs to start it's own body to solve the problem at the hardware level. Instead, we will probably see another hack.

My Dad could teach the community a lesson

Hacked solutions often end up providing a temporary fix to the problem. And they almost never stand the test of time.

While we use crafty marketing icons to signify our operating system choice -- a penguin or a devil or whatever -- looking around at the solutions we put together, I cannot help but mentally picture our icon as a gray, big eared, bucking and braying jackass.

It is, essentially, an arms race of hacking. We hack together something; the solution gets hacked. Rather than thinking through the solution, and correctly fixing the problem, we hack together another solution. Which gets hacked yet again. We need to stop hacking, and start rebuilding correctly.

Otherwise, we'll all look like donkeys.

Theoretical peak of the LLNL Xeon cluster? (1)

hal9000 (80652) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231962)

Anyone know the theoretical peak of the 2300-node xeon cluster at the Lawrence Livermore lab? I've read elsewhere [lwn.net] that it was (to be) a 1920-node cluster with a theoretical peak of 9.2 teraflops.

This article reports that the 2300-noder operates at 7.6 teraflops, but i was wondering what percentage of its theoretical peak that is.
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