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Supercomputers' growing resilience problems

angry tapir (1463043) writes | about 2 years ago

Supercomputing 2

angry tapir writes "As supercomputers grow more powerful, they'll also grow more vulnerable to failure, thanks to the increased amount of built-in componentry. Today's high-performance computing (HPC) systems can have 100,000 nodes or more — with each node built from multiple components of memory, processors, buses and other circuitry. Statistically speaking, all these components will fail at some point, and they halt operations when they do so, said David Fiala, a Ph.D student at the North Carolina State University, during a talk at SC12. Today's techniques for dealing with system failure may not scale very well, Fiala said."
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Not Really New (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#42061141)

The joke in the industry is that supercomputing is a synonym for unreliable computing. Stuff like checkpoint-restart were basically invented on super-computers because it was so easy to lose a week's worth of computations to some random bug. When you have one-off systems or even 100-off systems you just don't get the same kind of field testing that you get regular off-the-shelf systems that sell in the millions.

Now that most "super-computers" are mostly just clusters of off-the-shelf systems we get a different root cause but the results are the same.

Then again... (1)

A bsd fool (2667567) | about 2 years ago | (#42061537)

"they may," some other guy said.
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