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Half-Petaflop Supercomputer Deployed In Austin

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the one-teraflop-per-researcher dept.

Supercomputing 130

SethJohnson writes "Thanks to a $59 million National Science Foundation grant, there's likely to be a new king of the High Performance Computing Top 500 list. The contender is Ranger, a 15,744 Quad-Core AMD Opteron behemoth built by Sun and hosted at the University of Texas. Its peak processing power of 504 teraflops will be shared among over 500 researchers working across the even larger TeraGrid system. Although its expected lifespan is just four years, Ranger will provide 500 million processor hours to projects attempting to address societal grand challenges such as global climate change, water resource management, new energy sources, natural disasters, new materials and manufacturing processes, tissue and organ engineering, patient-specific medical therapies, and drug design."

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Now We Know (5, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531320)

So now we know why there is such a shortage of quad-core AMD Opterons otherwise.

Re:Now We Know (2, Insightful)

Chris Snook (872473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532338)

If I had mod points, I'd mod this insightful, not funny. There are a lot of HPC projects that were planning to use Barcelona, that were held back by the TLB bug. I'm sure anything approaching this magnitude already had a contract with AMD that includes guaranteed delivery dates and penalties, either directly or through the OEM. If you don't have a signed contract with AMD or with someone who has one with AMD, you're going to have to wait in line.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR kdawson AND SethJohnson! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22532378)

It's peak processing power

"Its".

Re:IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR kdawson AND SethJohnson! (1)

kyriosdelis (1100427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533962)

It's ...Austin Power!

Re:Now We Know (1)

edsousa (1201831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533860)

I'm sure anything approaching this magnitude already had a contract with AMD that includes guaranteed delivery dates and penalties
They had and wasn't met! Ranger was scheduled to be ready for inclusion in Top500 list released on November 15th.

Re:Now We Know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22532424)

well, i've worked on the machines where they make these things. I figure that 15744 cores can be dumped out in under a week, worst case. Shortage? not likely.
300mm^2/wafer * 1chip/400m^2 = ~175chip/wafer
175chip/wafer * 20% yield = 35chip/wafer (20% yield is generous)
10min/process_step * 6 process_step/wafer = 1hour/wafer (this is the amount of time they spend on my tool, and my tool is busy ~50% of the time, see next line)
1hour/wafer * 50% tool utilization = 2tool-hour/wafer
2tool-hour/wafer / 8 tools = .25hour/wafer
wafer/.25hour * 35chip/wafer = 140chip/hour
15744chip / 140chip/hour = 4.68days

I've heard this computer is so fast (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22531338)

that it completes an infinite loop in only 5 seconds!

Re:I've heard this computer is so fast (3, Funny)

grayshirtninja (1242690) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532638)

Finally! A computer that can run Crysis with full graphics!

Re:I've heard this computer is so fast (3, Funny)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532946)

Bahh Crysis is old school.

Finally TUX RACER in FULL 3D GLORY !

Re:I've heard this computer is so fast (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532662)

Holy shit, you mean it can solve the halting problem for Turing machines? Awesome!

It's *MUCH* faster than that (3, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534230)

Here's the source code for an infinite loop:

int main(){
  int i;
  for (i = 1; i > 0; i++)
/* do nothing */ ;
  return 0;
}
It runs in my 2.4GHz single-CPU computer in five seconds.


Explanation: this affirmation that "a computer is so fast it runs an infinite loop in X seconds" is actually true. Integers overflow, if you increase the largest positive number you get a negative number. But of course, this program uses 32-bit integers, it would take four billion times longer running in 64 bits.

Imagine... (0, Redundant)

Helix666 (1148203) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531348)

a beowolf cluster of those...

Re:Imagine... (3, Funny)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531532)

(Score:0, Redundant)

Yeah, I suppose a cluster is redundant.

Apostrophes (3, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531354)

Perhaps it can run spell- and grammar-checks on Slashdot submissions!

Re:Apostrophes (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531696)

How many supercomputers would be needed to spell check for a million monkeys?

Re:Apostrophes (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532790)

There's a lot of variables here. Sadly I've just spent the last 5-10 minutes of my life considering them all and was writing up a post about it. Then I realised that sometimes, I take jokes waaaaay too seriously.

Re:Apostrophes (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531810)

It's peak processing power of 504 teraflops will be shared among over 500 researchers working across the even larger TeraGrid system. Although its expected lifespan is just four years ...
What I don't understand is how the editor could it wrong and then in very next sentence get it right. Do the Slashdot editors just toss a coin to see if they should use an apostrophe?

Re:Apostrophes (1)

thx1138_az (163286) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532898)

According to this Fox News story [foxnews.com] that broke only few days ago even this massive super computer can't handle apostrophes.

Where's the fun in that? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533238)

Nah. They should donate the spare cycles into running slashdot. Can you imagine how fast the main page could be updated?

Re:Apostrophes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533650)

I am sure it could do that and more. Word has it that Vista almost runs properly on it.

What was that? (2, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531386)

Ranger will provide 500 million processor hours to projects attempting to address societal grand challenges such as:
  • global climate change - btdt
  • water resource management - nimby
  • new energy sources - boring
  • natural disasters - omg!
  • new materials and manufacturing processes - yesterday
  • tissue and organ engineering - day before yesterday
  • patient-specific medical therapies - yeah, right...when pigs fly
  • ...and
  • drug design - Well! Hello! In that case, count me in and please proceed!

Re:What was that? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531672)

You forgot Tic-Tac-Toe [wikipedia.org] .

...Calculating the global climate change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22531892)

...that will be caused by generating enough electricity to power the Ranger to calculate the global climate change that will be caused by generating enough electricity to power the Ranger to calculate the global climate change that will be caused by... etc etc etc...

Just how much juice will it take to light this sucker up anyway?

What does a CPU and Britney Spears have in common? (4, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531404)

A: The more flops, the more powerful it grows.

Re:What does a CPU and Britney Spears have in comm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533050)

Jug-a-lator obviously wants to pet-a-flop later. (.)^(.) =P

4 years is it's lifecycle? SKYNET?!?! (0)

zyzzx0 (935520) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531412)

Is that the year it's name changes to SkyNet and launches a world-wide attack? (me, a pro-scientific-singularitist, trying to be funny).

Re:4 years is it's lifecycle? SKYNET?!?! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22531654)

No, it's hoped that within that time you'll learn how to correctly use the apostrophe.

Re:4 years is it's lifecycle? SKYNET?!?! (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533652)

No, it's hoped that within that time you'll learn how to correctly use the apostrophe.
If you're still stuck, listen to Bob! [angryflower.com]
 

AMD (4, Interesting)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531420)

I'm glad to see AMD based projects like this, as they have certainly took a hit in the HPC space [top500.org] as of late.

The one advantage they may enjoy.. (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531570)

Couldn't see details, but this may use Sun's hypertransport switch as an interconnect. Until Intel's next generation of chips with QPI, you couldn't do that sort of interconnect with Intel processors. Admittedly though, I'm not convinced that it is significant enough a benefit over recent Infiniband solutions despite the penalty of going through an Infiniband chip and then a PCI express controller.

Even with the L3 errata straightened out, it still looks to be a rough road for AMD, who hasn't demonstrated clock-for-clock performance up to Core 2 yet, and also has lower clock speeds to boot. Unless AMD pulls something dramatic, it will be hard to justify AMD in supercomputing once Intel goes to QPI. They can pull off price-performance tricks to some extent, but in large deployments the power/cooling penalty is non-trivial.

Re:The one advantage they may enjoy.. (2, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531770)

Couldn't see details, but this may use Sun's hypertransport switch as an interconnect.
Sun doesn't make a Hypertransport switch and Ranger uses Infiniband just like other high-end x86 clusters.

Re:The one advantage they may enjoy.. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532592)

Power and cooling penalties? Are you looking at the same spec sheets I am because I'm seeing better performance per Watt out of Barcelona systems than out of Intel quad core Xeon's based systems. Most of it has to do with the fact that Intel uses power sucking FB-Dimms, but that's a design tradeoff that Intel made.

amd chips? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22531446)

lets hope those TLB's don't go all wonky :P

Re:amd chips? (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531528)

It uses Opterons not Phenoms

And? (4, Informative)

Junta (36770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531606)

Both Opteron and Phenom were at the same B2 stepping, complete with the same L3 errata, despite the different packaging. That's why you haven't seen a Tier one vendor touch the Opterons with a 10 foot poll for a generally available product. You can bet your ass this is the reason AMD released the kernel patch so 'some customer' could proceed with a Linux Opteron deployment with B2 parts without the performance penalty nor risk of the L3 errata.

This deployment is probably where AMD focused a firesale of B2 parts, since it's nice and well controlled.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22532826)

How many questions do you think fit on a ten foot poll?

Re:And? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532838)

a 10 foot poll
Some might say that CowboyNeal has way too much time on his hands

The chickens come home to roost (0, Flamebait)

inviolet (797804) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531468)

Ranger will provide 500 million processor hours to projects attempting to address societal grand challenges such as global climate change, water resource management, new energy sources, natural disasters, new materials and manufacturing processes, tissue and organ engineering, patient-specific medical therapies, and drug design."

ATTENTION RESEARCHERS:

Processing time on the new Ranger supercomputer is limited, and will be allocated to projects according to merit. Projects that aim to reinforce the current Doctrine naturally have greater merit. Projects that challenge the Doctrine, or that aim to refute it, will be placed in the secondary queue, and will receive an allocation of resources if and when the primary queue is empty.

In answer to the obvious objection: The University of Texas is a Public institution, and the Ranger supercomputer was built with Public funds, and so it is only appropriate that Ranger's resource allocation mirrors Public opinion. The Public does not like cognitive dissonance, and neither does the board of Regents.

Re:The chickens come home to roost (3, Funny)

CookieOfFortune (955407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531506)

Doesn't like cognitive dissonance? Have you ever _BEEN_ to Austin?!

Re:The chickens come home to roost (1)

Perseid (660451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531574)

So my petition for a few days of Crysis is a...no then? Phooey.

Re:The chickens come home to roost (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533670)

Yes. This is how science works. What you and your whiny brethren call "doctrine", scientists tend to call "Accepted theories". You have always, and will always, have to argue a whole lot more if you're on the other team. You have a whole lot of people to convince, for a start.

Who should get precedence: a medical researcher who is trying to prove that HIV does not cause AIDS, or a biological chemist who is looking for a cure for cancer?

Besides which, the text says "global climate change", not "proving global warming".

Four Years? (1, Funny)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531476)

What, is it an android from Blade Runner? It's going to die in four years? Slashdot summaries are the Suxx0rs!

Re:Four Years? (1)

aktzin (882293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531522)

What, is it an android from Blade Runner?

I think you mean replicants. Androids, like Lt. Commander Data from Star Trek, have practically unlimited lifespans.

Re:Four Years? (1)

thx1138_az (163286) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532960)

I think the word android can be used since the book (by Philip K. Dick, 1968) that the movie Blade Runner was based upon was titled Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.

Re:Four Years? (1)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532646)

Nope, but I'll be scanning ebay in 2012! Daddy needs some Distributed.Net action!

Half-computer (2, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531484)

And the other half is deployed in Dallas?

Is it ground shaking? (0)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531518)

It's nice to know we're that much closer to skynet, but... won't there always be a faster computer?

I think more shocking news would be "No supercomputing records beat this year!" But I suppose that would just be fiction.

Re:Is it ground shaking? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22531736)

There already is a faster computer. Ranger's peak is over 90 TF slower than BG/L at LLNL so unless there are some amazing efficiency breakthroughs (doubtful), it isn't going to be number one in June. That, of course, doesn't mean BG/L will still be number one either.

500M "Processor Hours"? (1)

id10ts (1147541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531536)

(15,744 processors) * (4 cores/processor) * (24 hours/day) * (365 days/year) * (4 years) = 2,206,679,040 core hours

Seems like the "processor hours" metric needs some adjustment to account for multi-core. Otherwise I could build one of these with 15,744 single-core processors and claim the same performance.

Re:500M "Processor Hours"? (1)

DeftPunk79 (1232522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531608)

It is donating 500M hours to research. Article never says how many total hours are available.

Re:500M "Processor Hours"? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22531690)

The rest are going to SETI@home

Re:500M "Processor Hours"? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531904)

Running Vista Ultimate...

Re:500M "Processor Hours"? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531910)

The rest are going to SETI@home

... as long as its not using SETI@home so it can "phone home".

How come nobody's pointed out how many PlayStation 3 computer clusters [physorg.com] this is?

Re:500M "Processor Hours"? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22531640)

...How is this different from a regular supercomputer? Supercomputers are already parallel - this just adds a second layer of parallelism. Competing supercomputers have always had different economy on a "processor hour", multicore CPUs is just one technique to increase the processing power of the machine.

And you could *TRY* to build a 15,744 single core machine and claim the same performance, but it would all fall apart very very quickly when someone asks "how many FLOPS?" (which is what computing power should be measured in, regardless of how many cores it has).

Re:500M "Processor Hours"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22532450)

The current area of research in supercomputing seems to be making the theoretical peak processing speed the guaranteed processing speed. When you have 15,744 processors, your main problem now becomes feeding the data in and out of the system. For example, if you are doing a visualisation of future weather patterns, you need to be to read in the initial state of the simulation, store the current state of your weather system, the next state of your weather system, while at the same time sending the data out to a workstation to be rendered.
All of this is going to need ultra high speed storage (RAID arrays) and networks.

Re:500M "Processor Hours"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22531936)

(15,744 processors) * (4 cores/processor) * (24 hours/day) * (365 days/year) * (4 years) = 2,206,679,040 core hours

(15,744 processors) * (4 cores/processor) * (24 hours/day) * (365.25 days/year) * (4 years) = 2,208,190,464 compute hours.

Although I wonder how many hours will be lost to configure the system, performance tuning, etc.

Re:500M "Processor Hours"? (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532052)

Seems like the "processor hours" metric needs some adjustment to account for multi-core. Otherwise I could build one of these with 15,744 single-core processors and claim the same performance.

Why are you associating processor-hours with performance anyway? You could hook up 15,744 286s and get the same number of processor-hours too. So why don't you complain about that?

Can't they do better than nnnn-"flop"? (1, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531540)

Gee, this computer is the BIGGEST flop generator of them all!

That's too bad.

NO! That's GOOD!

It is?

Yeah, lots and lots of flops per second - the more the better!

So the bigger the flops, the better?

Right!

Fewer flops is bad?

You got it!

And researchers want more money for more time with bigger flops?

Now you get it!

So they got $59 million for this humongous flop generator?

Yep!

Why don't they just burn the money if they want to generate a really big flop?

That wouldn't work - that wouldn't make any useful computing flops!

So this generates all these "useful computing flops"

Yes.

Was Vista one of their prototypes?

Re:Can't they do better than nnnn-"flop"? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532892)

Sure they can do better than flops - you ever hear about those megaflops? They're even bigger than normal flops.

Re:Can't they do better than nnnn-"flop"? (1)

Plaid Phantom (818438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533158)

Third base!

I know, it's not the same thing. Still, it seemed fitting.

4 year lifespan (5, Interesting)

DeftPunk79 (1232522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531542)

The 4 year lifespan in the /. article refers to the amount of time the award money covers for operations costs. So if it finds some others mean s of operation funds it could live longer... of course those funds will probably be from a private organization and the ranger would no longer be open for research.

are you serious? (1)

MrMaverick092588 (1240660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531558)

freaking lame, 59 million dollars... i go to UT, and if this means no more free condoms then we're gonna have words.

Re:are you serious? (3, Funny)

chillax137 (612431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531854)

Just grab a few and you'll be set for the next four years...

Seriously though, this money comes from an NSF grant earmarked specifically for this project. We get these kind of complaints from other departments and especially undergrad editorials in the student newspaper. Unfortunately, the budget from the football team won't be used to renovate the social work buildings.

Re:are you serious? (1)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532340)

Do what most other slashdotters do... use a paper towel or a sock.

Global climate change, new energy sources... (4, Funny)

Tmack (593755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531594)

attempting to address societal grand challenges such as global climate change, water resource management, new energy sources..

With that many cores, they will need to find new energy sources just to power it, and re-think water resource management as they redirect the river to cool the thing and to prevent it from causing global climate change itself!

Tm

Re:Global climate change, new energy sources... (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531662)

Does I.T. come in different colors? (1)

redstar427 (81679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533920)

What if I want a different color than green for my I.T.?

Re:Global climate change, new energy sources... (1)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531704)

Yes, it's going to use some power...but I would compare this to teaching a man how to fish rather than handing him one. This energy will be an investment in all sorts of efficiencies in the future. That is, if the computing time is allocated efficiently.

Re:Global climate change, new energy sources... (2, Informative)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533578)

With that many cores, they will need to find new energy sources just to power it,

Luckily, UT has its own power plant [utexas.edu] .

Dell has to be fuming (2, Interesting)

fabu10u$ (839423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531762)

In their backyard, and Sun gets the job instead. (Maybe this is why Dell has started offering AMD?)

Re:Dell has to be fuming (5, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531834)

"In their backyard, and Sun gets the job instead."

Do you really want to have a $59M machine dependent upon Dell customer support?

seti (1)

simontek2 (523795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532680)

All i could think of is, after 4 years, i am sure the seti, or folding projects would love to have that system. I wouldn't mind it either.

Rethinking this (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533566)

Odd to have a computer of this magnitude only in use for four years, though that might speak of its power inefficiency perhaps in light of new technology in 2012.

BUT

The year 2012 is the end of the Mayan calendar. This computer may have been actually assigned to find out what is going to happen in 2012. So it better have the answer in 4 years.

Re:Dell has to be fuming (1)

Temkin (112574) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531868)

In their backyard, and Sun gets the job instead. (Maybe this is why Dell has started offering AMD?)
Sun has a reasonably large Austin presence as well. That's where they designed the Niagara processor.

Re:Dell has to be fuming (1)

EXMSFT (935404) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532104)

As does AMD.

Re:Dell has to be fuming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22532354)

Systems this large are usually offered by cray, sun, and other players (sure also dell)

But if you ask whats this one different from the others I must say that it is in the interconnection network. It uses only 2 SUN (extremely high density) switches called magnum to interconnect the system, and its one of a kind infiniband switch, as described here (among other features with links): http://blogs.sun.com/marchamilton/entry/more_ranger_facts_and_figures [sun.com]

Re:Dell has to be fuming (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532832)

AMD has been trying to build a plant in Austin for years now. This is most likely a deal deeply connected with finally breaking ground on a plant people have been protesting for YEARS now, due to it's location (near watersheds, etc)

Oh the humanity! (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531906)

a witness [wikipedia.org] to the vandalism is quoted saying..

It's burst into flames! It burst into flames....It's crashing!....Oh the humanity!....This is the worst thing I've ever witnessed.


Oh wait, you said deployed, not destroyed..

carry on

Biggest Computer? What About a Googleplex? (1)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | more than 6 years ago | (#22531958)

Hey. Is a Googleplex ever counted in as one of these big a$$ multi-processor monsters? If not, why? Those suckers are ginormous. R

Re:Biggest Computer? What About a Googleplex? (1)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533030)

I don't think the googleplex shares cycles quite like this.

I remember reading the infiniband switch main inventor's bio while working at Sun , interesting guy who had these types of things on his mind all the time.

Newspeak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22532010)

Petaflop? Teraflop? Say what? Are these actual terms, and did someone get paid to think them up?

Re:Newspeak (2, Informative)

Plaid Phantom (818438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533182)

Yes [wikipedia.org] , and probably not [wikipedia.org] .

actually... (5, Interesting)

elite1789 (1245036) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532032)

I was at TACC a few weeks ago, and the peak performance was around 519 teraflops.... Sadly, they also said the word on the street is that IBM wont take too kindly to the new king in town, and since TOP500 is biannually, everyone is biting their nails about blue-gene getting a quick upgrade in time to stay on top. Turns out the blue-gene systems are so scalable its quite easy to strap a few thousand new processors for a nice performance boost.

Walker Texas Ranger (1)

dpx420 (1210902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532118)

Chuck Norris doesn't need high performance supercomputers, he can threaten any old 486 into running twice as fast.

Re:Walker Texas Ranger (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532990)

Wowee.. at under 10 MFLOPS that's got to be some beast of a machine! Or do you mean get the 486 running twice as fast as a supercomputer? I don't think we need another sun in this solar system :o

Oblig. (1)

Pieisexaclty3 (944949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532138)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those

Queue the: But Does it run linux? (2, Informative)

dustwun (662589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532188)

And the answer is apparently yes. According to techtarget.com [techtarget.com] It'll be running CentOS just like slashdot [slashdot.org] does.

The truth... (1)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532470)

Sure they will work on climate calculations.. but first on the agenda is being able to play Crysis in hi-res with all options on.

sure, that sounds great, but... (1)

oliphaunt (124016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532580)

how many bogomips per petaflop?

New King? Not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22532582)

BlueGene/L has a peak of 596 TFLOP and a sustained of 478.2 TFLOP. Ranger would have to get nearly 95% efficiency to tie for #1.

Re:New King? Not! (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532672)

Hmmm...you sound like somebody I used to work with.

What happens after lifespan? (2, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532608)

Ranger comprises 3,936 compute nodes in a Sun Blade(TM) 6048 Modular System with 15,744 Quad-Core AMD Opteron(TM) processors, and Sun Fire(TM) x4500 servers providing 1.7 petabytes of storage.
Since TFA says this hardware will last only four years, what typically happens to these supercomputers built out of so called commodity hardware? Is sun going to donate/resell this gear? Or does it end up in the scrap heap? Surely, these Sun Blades are supposed to have a useful lifespan greater than four years. Sun could probably give these blades to every elementary school in all of Texas. Is the future of super computing aka disposable computing?

Re:What happens after lifespan? (3, Interesting)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533592)

It's actually the best way to aquire the new AMD Opteron processor, just wait for 4 years and get in line.

The lifespan is not four years (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534294)

Four years is not how long the hardware will last, it's how long the $59 million funding for covering operation costs will last. After that they will have to get money from somewhere else.

More Processors! (1)

robizzle (975423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532650)

It sounds like they don't need faster super computers but instead to narrow the number of areas they are crunching away at. Why not pick the top 2 or 3 issues and crunch away at those instead of running 20 jobs, all of which will hardly get anywhere in the four years this supercomputer has to live?

Re:More Processors! (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533202)

They've put quite a bit of thought into how to efficiently allocate time on a 60 million dollar compute cluster, I can assure you. If some jobs get time, it's because non-trivial progress can be made on those things in the time they've been allocated.

Political Positioning (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 6 years ago | (#22532808)

UT students have been pushing against putting a polluting plant in Austin (very green-aware city) for years. This is just a move to placate the protestors, I'm sure. 4 years? What happens after that?

Re:Political Positioning (1)

lowid (24) _________ (878977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533658)

What does this polluting plant have to do with anything? I can't see how they would have decided to build a 59 million dollar supercomputer to placate protesters that were protesting against something completely irrelevant to supercomputers.
(to answer your question, after 4 years the computer loses public funding, but doesn't cease operation.)

this is the begining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533300)

this is truly the begining of skynet, as sarah connor predicted.

Robot-wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533798)

Through my semi-conscious hangover blurred vision I read "Half-Petaflop Supercomputer Destroys Austin", the adrenalin rush caused by the potential start of the robot-wars really sorted out my hangover, Cheers.
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