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Building The MareNostrum COTS Supercomputer

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the available-at-every-pharmacy dept.

IBM 187

karvind writes "IBM Power Architecture Community Newsletter has a story about making a supercomputer (Number 4 on top 500 list) from easily available components (like BladeCenter and TotalStorage servers, 970FX PowerPC processors, and Linux 2.6). A joint venture between IBM and the Spanish government, it is named MareNostrum: the Latin term meaning 'our sea.' Peaking at 40 TFlops, the beast consists of 2,282 IBM eServer BladeCenter JS20 blade servers housed in 163 BladeCenter chassis, 4,564 64-bit IBM PowerPC 970FX processors, and 140 TB of IBM TotalStorage DS4100 storage servers."

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specifically (4, Informative)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686916)

Mare Nostrum refers to the Mediterranean Sea.

Re:specifically (2, Interesting)

Predflux (851314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686927)

Well, Mare Nostrum means "our sea". And which was the Roman's sea? The Mediterranean Sea.

Re:specifically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687203)

That is in old Europe. FB!

Mare Nostrum (4, Informative)

nebaz (453974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686932)

Mare Nostrum literally means "our sea". It is what the Romans called the Mediterranean Sea during the Empire. As you can see [dalton.org] , it was an apt name.

Re:Mare Nostrum (1)

pinky99 (741036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686948)

yep, it's just Latin for Mediterrenian Sea.

Re:Mare Nostrum (1)

Predflux (851314) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686959)

Damnit. It's Latin for Our Sea.

But Our Sea is the Mediterrenian.

Re:Mare Nostrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687037)

What sea are you guys talking about?

Re:Mare Nostrum (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687063)

About the f*ck*ng Mediterranian sea. Are you awake???

Re:Mare Nostrum (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687185)

Huh? What sea?!!!???

Re:Mare Nostrum (1)

flanderz (658511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687340)

+1 funny :)

Re:Mare Nostrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687010)

What did they call it during the Republic?

Re:Mare Nostrum (1)

legrimpeur (594896) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687056)

and actually they called it like this since at their acme they owned almost the totality of its coast...

Humans are so behind the curve (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11686940)

I am an African Grey parrot, and I can tell you that while you humans are celebrating this achievement, I and my fellow Greys are laughing at you. Supercomputers are old news to us; in fact, one of my friends solved the halting problem while taking a crap the other day. Seriously, people, we like you 'cause you feed us, but leave this kind of stuff to us.

(I tried to register an account but /. thought my user name was too long)

Re:Humans are so behind the curve (1)

fred911 (83970) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687000)

Besides we also have powerless routing! We even told you years ago (see RFC1149 http://www.blug.linux.no/rfc1149/ "A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers").

So celebrate all ya want, bipod just don't run out of my crackers!

I have an account now! *squawk* (1)

African Grey (859889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687013)

Of course, the *squawk* was only inserted to conform with human stereotypes about parrot speech. We're actually much more sophisticated than that; in fact you have probably heard one of us talking and not realized it was a bird!

It's all fine (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11686941)

but does it run Linux? Oh crap, never mind.

Re:It's all fine (1)

fedor (598123) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686950)

With such a powerful machine you can even run Websphere!

Why ohh why (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686943)

Couldn't they just "me too" it and run xserves >_

Now im going to cry!

Did Michael Simms get fired? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11686945)

So what's the story on that? And why did it take so long?

Re:Did Michael Simms get fired? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11686954)

welcome to last month, yeah he got fired!

IBM eServers? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11686955)

what a wasted opportunity!

They should have built them out of Apple XServes...
because Xservers are like, way cooler, and OSX is a better OS anyway.

Re:IBM eServers? (1, Informative)

xose (219487) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687036)

This was a political decision, HP already complained because there was not a sellers competition.

Last government of Jose Maria Ansar aka 'Estamos trabajado en elloooooo' brought this computer to try get the ITER.

PD: Africa comienza en los Pirineos.

Important problems need solving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687066)

The spanish are going to use this system to calculate how many litres of ice cream are required to satisfy the tourist season, and other important problems faced by the economy.

NCH

Re:Important problems need solving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687166)

Funny. At least, we won't use it for Echelon or nuclear simulations.

By the way, it can't be used to calculate how many litres of alcohol are required because it's not computable.

Re:IBM eServers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687101)

Ok, for me as Spanish is not a proble is Africa frontier start in the Pirineos, Africa was the kind of the Egyptians and other brilliand cultures. The problem is that some people that live in Spain should be deported because are so much stupid. I'm Spanish I like to be Spanish and for SPAIN is the better contry. I'm a republican man, porn in Barcelona, with all my parents from Barcelona, Ripoll for surname. I love SPAIN.

Re:IBM eServers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687112)

Is it Madrid or Sevill where Black Pete drops off all the naughty children?

Re:IBM eServers? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687291)

I'm a republican man, porn in Barcelona ...

umm ... you mean there's Republican porn over there? yuck! ... with all my parents from Barcelona

Really? ALL of them, no kidding ... well, there goes one more failed genetic experiment. Better luck next time!

Top 500? (3, Funny)

Ubi_NL (313657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686956)

(Number 4 on top 500 list)
...while being Number 6 on top 300 list, and Number 65 on top 2000 list.

This is like those CDs that have 'best of the Top40' and not contain the top10 list of that

Why bother? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11686963)

I mean... imagine a beowulf cluster of cell processors!

and in 32 years (3, Insightful)

headlessspider (859133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686973)

and after about 16 (or 32) years we'll have that power in our desktops...

Beowulf cluster? (1)

moz25 (262020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686980)

Isn't this basically a Beowulf-type cluster with just many many nodes? Exactly where lies the innovation? The fact that a cluster of many processors have a lot of computing power is not exactly new.

Re:Beowulf cluster? (2, Informative)

travisco_nabisco (817002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686991)

It probably has to do more with the fact that as you increase the number of nodes, your increase in performance decreases on a per node basis. To get that many nodes working together takes an incredible amount of resource management. It makes you wonder where the limit currently is for if it is worth adding an extra node, or if the resource management requirements negate the extra nodes computational power.

Re:Beowulf cluster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11686995)

IBM's blades are totally awesome. You can just take one, shove it into the rack, and it's computing.

Re:Beowulf cluster? (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687027)

It reminds me of how 3Dfx went down... They wanted faster cards, but rather than make something innovative, they just made the cards bigger so they could fit more stuff on them. The things were huge, it cracked me up when I saw them on ZDTV (before it was called TechTV). This seems like what IBM is trying to do here.

Re:Beowulf cluster? (3, Insightful)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687041)

Yeah but it's made from "easily available components." Hmmm, I think I've seen that before, at the University of Virginia. Don't G5s qualify as "easily available"?

Re:Beowulf cluster? (1, Informative)

photon317 (208409) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687368)

It's really hard to scale these kinds of clusters beyond certain limits, once you start getting into all the practical details.

There's the basic facilities stuff: fitting enough power and cooling density into a single datacenter to cram that many nodes within a reasonable distance of each other for cabling purposes.

There's the network architecture. A single switched network between your nodes doesn't get you all that far. Depending on the characteristics of the expected workload and all that jazz, there are many different technologies and topologies to choose from.

Don't forget storage and data moving in general. The data has to reach the processors somehow, and 2000 nodes mounting an nfs share from some central box just isn't going to work at all...

Then there's node management: installing/imaging, booting, detecting failures, recovering with minimal human intervention (automatic re-imaging), monitoring it all, etc. You could skip this step and hire a truckload of junior sysadmins and have them running all over the place with CDs and keyboards and monitors, but that doesn't really scale to thousands of densely packed nodes does it?

As another reply states - if you don't find the right solution to all of these problems, you face scalability limits. With a given overall design, there's going to be a maximal node count, beyond which scaling is infeasible or futile. It really is hard stuff.

Luckily the opensource world is making headway on some of the software-side manageability issues. For an example check out rocks.npaci.edu.

Off who's shelf? (4, Insightful)

identity0 (77976) | more than 9 years ago | (#11686994)

I love the first line in the article, which ends, "is constructed of such totally off-the-shelf parts as IBM BladeCenter JS20 servers, 64-bit 970FX PowerPC processors, TotalStorage DS4100 storage servers, and Linux 2.6. This is its story."

Right, like I regularly go to Fry's to stock up on some DS4100s and Bladecenters. I'd love to be the geek for whom that stuff is "off-the-shelf". Can you even buy bare PPC CPUs and mobos?

Re:Off who's shelf? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687039)

IBMs shelf. The stuff in itself is nothing particular, just ordinary computer stuff sold by IBM to hundreds or thousands of other customers.

Just because you "can't" buy the stuff in pieces (IBM will probably gladly sell you the stuff as spare parts, if you prefer to assemble it yourself) doesn't mean it's not off the shelf.

Re:Off who's shelf? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687071)

Can you even buy bare PPC CPUs and mobos?

Not 970-based yet, but anyway:
Pegasos [pegasosppc.com] .
Terons [mai.com] (which are also marketed, by raping the corpse of the Amiga, to a bunch of clueless zealots as "AmigaOnes". The CX and PX models are discontinued due to hardware flaws, the jury is still out on the newer Mini model).

Re:Off who's shelf? (2, Insightful)

PayPaI (733999) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687175)

Pegasos.
$775 [ultraspec.us] for a G4 (1GHz?) on an ATX board with specs comparable or less than a $112 [newegg.com] Athlon64 motherboard.
Terons
$3,900 [mai.com] (!) for a board with a 750FX processor (unknown speed) and technology comparable to what was going out of style 4 years ago. (USB1.1? 10/100 Ethernet? PC133 Memory???)
I'm not holding my breath for these. Call me when I can get a decent motherboard with a 1GHz processor for less than $200.

Re:Off who's shelf? (2, Insightful)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687096)

You don't need your own fab, and you don't need to rent one. If you don't need custom components, it's off-the-shelf.

Re:Off who's shelf? (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687110)

"off the shelf" means the technolgy has already been developed, not that any dork can get one at the local CompUSA. This generally means lower cost since you don't have to pay for custom chip development.

Cue the lame gags... (1, Funny)

Sime208 (709155) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687007)

...about it still not being sufficient to catalogue ones porn collection.

War in the age of information warfare (5, Funny)

flopsy mopsalon (635863) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687012)

I happened to look at the Top 500 supercomputers [top500.org] site and I couln't help noticing out of the top 5 supercomputers almost half are in non-US countries like Spain and Japan. This is not to beat some kind of patriot act drum. Instead, it got me to thinking.

With supercomputing powers now avaible to any country or group with a few readily available components, it is only a matter of time before these supercomputing powers may be used by a rogue state [korea-dpr.com] or radical group to cause havoc among electronic communications using methods like denial of service attacks, spyware, and crapflooding message boards.

I think it is high time the nations of the world put their heads together and addressed this issue. For example, I don't think the US Federal Government even has any cabinet-level position like Secretary of Information Technology or something like that. When are they going to get with the times? It will probably take another terrorist attack or something.

Re:War in the age of information warfare (2, Insightful)

mikelin.ca (859891) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687024)

Uh oh.
Someone's been watching too much 24.

Re:War in the age of information warfare (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687028)

Yeah especially with all the bandwith that north korea has, im sure they will launch a very succesful DoS attack on Whitehouse.com as the north koreans are introduced to pr0n for the first time!

Re:War in the age of information warfare (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687031)

and crapflooding message boards

Yep, that's gonna cause mass mayhem and planet-wide panic. Them terrorists, messing up with our patriotic message boards! ... or something

Kid, when you grow up you'll relize there are some differences between a Beowulf cluster and a botnet of crappy PCs.

Re:War in the age of information warfare (5, Informative)

grozzie2 (698656) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687062)

These things are already being used by rogue states. The us military has a bunch of them dedicated to modelling nuclear events.

With regard to denial of service attacks, there's a cluebox over in the corner, you need to go grab a couple out of the box. DOS attacks dont require a big computer, they require massive bandwidth with massive routing diversity available. The actual computer power required borders on insignificant. A supercomputer like this is useless for that kind of thing, by necessity, it will have an internal networking and communications environment, and likely only a relatively low speed interconnect to external networks.

But look on the bright side, the knee jerk 'terrorist behind every lamp post' reaction is just what the american government has been trying to instill in the population for the last few years. Your post here shows, it's been an effective campaign, money successfully spent, and the objective achieved. It's become the 'trendy' response to just about everything these days.

Re:War in the age of information warfare (1)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687070)

DOS's, spyware and crapflooding don't require supercomputing power. Now, nuclear simulations and the like- that's probably more worrisome. You very appropriately linked to NK, the state most likely at this point to be running such simulations. Although, they might just test their bomb for real, as a show of power. Whatever the case, I don't think any rogue states give a flying fuck about crapflooding /.

Re:War in the age of information warfare (1)

winchester (265873) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687074)

With supercomputing powers now avaible to any country or group with a few readily available components, it is only a matter of time before these supercomputing powers may be used by a rogue state or radical group to cause havoc among electronic communications using methods like denial of service attacks, spyware, and crapflooding message boards.
You are SO informed! That is exactly what you can NOT use a supercomputer for! Supercomputers are used for scientific calculations. Sure you can use them to calculate the best rocket trajectory or how many people will be killed by a nuclear blast, but to be honest, I would be very surprised to see an Al-Qaeda super computing center, just because having and using it makes no sense to them. On the other hand, an Al-Qaeda Information Warfare center sounds quite possible, but you don't need a supercomputer for that.

As for being concerned about rogue states getting their hands on a supercomputer... that is what the US export regulations are for!

Re:War in the age of information warfare (1)

karakal (846584) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687199)

> As for being concerned about rogue states getting their hands on a supercomputer... that is what the US export regulations are for! I just have to say: There are more things between earth and sky than the Americans can think off.

Re:War in the age of information warfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687077)

Please, don't say stupid the only ones that are really dangerous in the USA. I'm Spanish from Spain, not as many of Americam thing that we are from Latin America. We live in Europe and we're part of the European Comunnity that have a stronger economical position in from the USA. When you start thinking that you're part of the world and the world is not part of the USA, you'll scale one position. Spain was one time, the owner of the world, including most of the USA, we sold Florida and other areas to the USA not so far away.

And remember you did a war agains us to get Cuba, but we left there Fidel.

Re:War in the age of information warfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687082)

Hm, is this a troll? Anyway, why use a supercomputer for something trivial as a DOS attack when you could buy 6 hours of DDOS from a botnet for a few $100 on irc?

Re:War in the age of information warfare (1)

Elementalor (551544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687084)

I can't believe ours is smaller than the Japanese...

Re:War in the age of information warfare (1)

hdparm (575302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687087)

crapflooding message boards.

This got me into thinking, too - with posts like this, rogue states will quickly realise they can save some of that computing power just by leaving slashdot alone.

Re:War in the age of information warfare (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687122)

First and formost, that is NSA's directive; That is to secure our systems and networks.

Next there have been several CS security czars, but all have quit because they have not had the response from the admin that they thought was needed.

Will it take a terrorist hit to get us really thinking about all this? Nope. In spite of 9-11, we are still not really any more "secure" than we were on 9-10.

What it will take is lawsuits against companies. A good one that is going through now, is the one where a guy got ripped off for 90k using BOA. Now it was not BOA fault(they had a secured server). But they allowed that guy to use his system (he seems to forget the use at your own risk think in the EULA that he agreed to). Most likely, BOA will lose money no this. Then they will re-think through there strategy. It will probably be to check the client and browser and see if it is known high risk (hummmm, which OS and browser are very high risk, hummm). At which time, they will warn the user and perhaps suggest another browser (and maybe an OS or 2). At the point that this costs institiions money is when they will take it serious.

Re:War in the age of information warfare (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687163)

it is only a matter of time before these supercomputing powers may be used by a rogue state (for) crapflooding message boards.

Look, North Korean secret agent guy, just because you have a supercomputer doesn't mean you need to go posting this ton of crap to Slashdot thanks very much.

That's almost as ludicrous as Intel's faster CPU to surf the web faster theory. The trolls on slashdot are ample proof that you need nothing more than a low end pentium and lots of time to keep the drivel flowing all day.

Re:War in the age of information warfare (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687316)


Keep in mind that these are Top500 KNOWN supercomputers.

It's quite possible that many more computers that exist but are operating under classified conditions. For instance I would be suprised if the NSA had something for breaking crypto that rivaled some of the machines in the top 50 or so super computers, but it's not something that would appear on this list. This is for boasting rights only, if a place chooses not to publicize their computer, it won't end up on the list.

American computers pretty much dominate. Some like the Spainish one are built by American companies (like IBM), but just happen to be installed in foreign places.

Now the NEC Earth Simulator is a BIG exception. It dominated the top 500 for a considurable period of time and is completely japanese built, designed and owned. It is a huge technological acheivement and the pinnacle of technology for it's day. It's hard to relate to how significant it was. It is the top of the line when it comes to old-school massively parrallel supercomputers, blew American supercomputers out of the water.

But along came Linux clusters (which in many ways is competely unsuitable for some of the things that Earth Simulator can do) and now Blue Gene. Which can possibly do twice the work as Earth Simulator, but consumes a fraction of the power and space needed to house these types of computers.

lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687015)

niggers

Re:lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687019)

nigger

Re:lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687026)

nigger
lol

Re:lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687053)

nigger boy

Re:lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687067)

lol nigger boy lol

Re:lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687086)

lol nigga boy
lol

Re:lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687098)

hahah lol nigger

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687108)

god damn it

Re:lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687125)

fucking niggers

Re:lol (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687141)

lol
fuckin' spics

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687157)

lol
fuckin' gooks

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687198)

ken livingstone!

Re:lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687212)

lol nigger spic

timely and focused PR (5, Informative)

bandix (184495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687017)

This is all about timely and focused execution. The speed at which this project was realized is important. Consider: from the initial concept in late December of 2003 to assembling the computer in Madrid took less than a year. Normally, this kind of supercomputer projects take years.

Lame!

SGI had NASA AMES' Columbia online in 120 days, and landed #2 on the Top500.

Re:timely and focused PR (1)

jokumuu (831894) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687155)

"This is all about timely and focused execution"

SGI had NASA AMES' Columbia online in 120 days, and landed #2 on the Top500.

I am sure that what they mean is that every phase of the project was according to schedule, specifically including the PR efforts.

Off the shelf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687018)

w00t
yes now I can make my own amazing super computer made of... BOOKS!

Re:Off the shelf (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687035)

Well, if one of those books is Beowulf... ummm, never mind.

Sounds like (5, Funny)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687021)

Peaking at 40 TFlops, the beast consists of 2,282 IBM eServer BladeCenter JS20 blade servers housed in 163 BladeCenter chassis, 4,564 64-bit IBM PowerPC 970FX processors, and 140 TB of IBM TotalStorage DS4100 storage servers.

Sounds like the specs of Microsoft's Xbox 3...

Re:Sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687099)

While still weighing less than XBox 1!

Re:Sounds like (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687193)

... Which will also run Linux 2.6 at some stage, no doubt.

WHAT'S WITH THE FREE ADVERTISING? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687030)

I'm sorry, but why are we giving IBM free press again? For god's sake, the very first sentence of the freaking article is utter rubbish:

The MareNostrum supercomputer at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, ranked number four in the world in speed in November 2004, is constructed of such totally off-the-shelf parts as IBM BladeCenter JS20 servers, 64-bit 970FX PowerPC processors, TotalStorage DS4100 storage servers, and Linux 2.6

That's it - the first sentence of the article, if you exclude the title, the credits and the date, that is.

And we can already call advertising bullshit. I'm sorry, but how is the MareNostrum system made of any more "totally off-the-shelf" parts than the number two system on the Top500, NASA's very own Columbia? In fact, the 64-bit 970FX PowerPC processor is NOT an off-the-shelf part: unlike the Itanium 2 CPUs in Columbia, you can NOT buy such CPUs individually (for good reason: unlike the Itanium CPUs in Columbia, MareNostrum's CPUs are not socketed but soldered to the JS20 system board, so there goes upgradeability...)

Seriously though, why should we give a rat's ass about MareNostrum? Columbia is faster, more efficient, really is made from off-the-shelf parts and also runs Linux.

What's that? Oh, IBM are a good company and SGI aren't? For fuck's sake, SGI are better friends of Linux than IBM are. What did IBM do for linux? Nothing compared to SGI. IBM ported JFS, a crappy journaling filesystem, oh and they ported it to their own POWER/PowerPC architecture systems. W00p!

SGI:

- Gave Linux XFS, one of the fastest filesystems around, with _many_ advanced features (just look in your kernel config sometime)

- Scaled Linux beyond 64 CPUs for the first time (and indeed, they hold the record at 2,048CPUs): they fixed a _ton_ of scalability problems, and continue to do this on a daily basis (just look at this week's archive of the linux-ia64 mailing list to see what I mean!)

- Open sourced their Itanium compiler

- Created OpenGL (notice carefully the Open in OpenGL. You can bet your bottom dollar if IBM created a funky new graphics API it would _only_ work on PowerPC machines with IBM video hardware!)

Yada yada. All I'm trying to say is there are other companies out there who have really taken Linux to heart and have made open source development in their best interest, not just IBM. SGI is just one example, there are many others.

Imagine... (0, Redundant)

Ray Alloc (835739) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687032)

... a beowulf cluster of these.

Re:Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687083)

The fact that this comment was rated redundant is beyond hilarious.

Well, to me, anyway.

Re:Imagine... (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687159)

Definately an amusingly appropriate mod. Perhaps a rare case where redundant should net the moderator and poster positive karma (in a tiny amount however)

Mycroft

Re:Imagine... (1)

Ender_Stonebender (60900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687152)

Damn. You beat me to it. But you forget the "...oh, wait. Never mind." bit at the end.

--Ender

lol (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687040)

nigger boys

Who cares about easily available? (1, Insightful)

tktk (540564) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687047)

...from easily available components...

Screw easily available. Anyone with a budget to buy 2,282 servers and 4,564 processors can afford custom parts.

Call me when it's also easily affordable and I can pick up the parts at my local Fry's, or better yet, my local supermarket.

The only real item of interest was that it was made with all IBM parts and Linux.

...

Come to think of it, if Fry's also sold groceries I won't have to shop anywhere else...

Re:Who cares about easily available? (2, Informative)

jokumuu (831894) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687144)

Well, if you really need a supercomputer, the first step is not to get the computer, but instead the funding. As super computers go, if your needs are served by a distributed computing environmet, an "entry level" supercomputer does not really cost all that much compared to "traditional" supercomputers. Yes we are still talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. (there seems to still be 256 processor 2.8ghz xeon based computers with gig ethernet connectivity on the latest top 500 list) If you need to solve problems that do not work in paralell, you are definitely out of luck.

Re:Who cares about easily available? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687158)

I can see that you have no idea what it costs to design circuits. I'll give a hint, before it's sillicon you've burnt A LOT of money, and more will disappear before you start to manufacture.

In other news, SHA1 was broken... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687054)

Peaking at 40 TFlops, the beast consists of 2,282 IBM eServer BladeCenter JS20 blade servers housed in 163 BladeCenter chassis, 4,564 64-bit IBM PowerPC 970FX processors, and 140 TB of IBM TotalStorage DS4100 storage servers.

It's just the thing to find SHA1 collisions of ISO images in 2^56 operations...

Mare Nostrum: the Mediterranean (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687075)

The literal translation of 'Mare Nostrum' is 'Our Sea' it however referred to the Mediterranean, which was controlled by the Roman Empire.

In the same way Americans (well USIANS) today refer to Earth as 'Our Planet' (because Earth is controlled and policed by the US Government) and 'Pax Romana' is equivalent to 'Pax Americana.

Re:Mare Nostrum: the Mediterranean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687146)

In the same way Americans (well USIANS) today refer to Earth as 'Our Planet' (because Earth is controlled and policed by the US Government) and 'Pax Romana' is equivalent to 'Pax Americana.

Wow great explanation. I just couldn't understand why the Romans would call the Mediterranean "Our Sea" until you pulled that brilliant comparison with Americans calling the Earth "Our Planet"! Fantastic!
Thanks for that!

Oh, and great work regurgitating the second paragraph of the fucking article! I don't think quite enough mod points have been wasted yet on modding copy+pastes of the article +5 informative!
!!!

Well yeah,... (2, Funny)

Create an Account (841457) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687135)

...but how fast can it open Photoshop CS?

.mo3 down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687165)

website Third, you a popular 'news and that The floor [amazingkreskin.com]

That's a beefy computer (2, Insightful)

C0d1ngM0nk3y (851310) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687168)


but I bet Windows still runs slow on it.

DOES THAT COME IN A DESKTOP? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11687172)

REALY, DOES IT????

Supercomputer = Pile of computers? (2, Insightful)

ceeam (39911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687191)

Given enough money how is that impressive anymore? What's the best single-thread-performance machine today?

riiight . . . easily available components (2, Insightful)

Raccroc (238757) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687223)

I just love how every time someone writes about another grid or supercomputer or beowulf cluster they always say "easily available components" as if I could find most of them in a standard IT closet or just run down to the local computer shop and pick them up with my corp. AMEX.

In what world is 163 BladeCenter chassis, 4,564 64-bit IBM PowerPC 970FX processors, and 140 TB of IBM TotalStorage DS4100 storage servers easily available??? Maybe if you are Big Blue, but then, why would it be more difficult for them to throw together a fully proprietary supercomputer?

Re:riiight . . . easily available components (2, Insightful)

luvirini (753157) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687251)

If you have the money, the components are readily available and tested. It is allmost allways much more difficult to create everyting from scracth than using components that are allready designed and working. Thus the money needed to build it from scracth would be much higher and timeframe longer.

But really... (2, Funny)

nicc777 (614519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687243)

...does it have an AGP slot?

Even easier then that... (0)

NeedleSurfer (768029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687324)

Get a load of Xserves, install Xgrid or something else [vt.edu] , plug in, process (it seems it takes about no time to assemble [vt.edu] and it runs osX).

Add more Xserves to get more power...

Mare Nostrum (3, Funny)

woah (781250) | more than 9 years ago | (#11687366)

Mare Nostrum is Latin for "our sea"?

But I thought it was Ouray Easay!

What's going on?

This is all so confusing! I need to take a nap.

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