Here’s a roundup of some of this week’s headlines from the Supercomputing '10 Conference:
Microsoft announces BLAST. Microsoft (MSFT) announced the release of NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure. The new application enables a broader community of scientists to combine desktop resources with the power of cloud computing for critical biological research. At the SC10 conference Microsoft showcased Azure by demonstrating its use for 100 billion comparisons of protein sequences in a database manged by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) application aid researchers in bioinformatics, energy, drug research and many other fields by sifting through large databases. The NCBI BLAST on Windows Azure software is available from Microsoft at no cost, and Windows Azure resources are available at no charge to many researchers through Microsoft’s Global Cloud Research Engagement Initiative. Microsoft also announced Service Pack 1 for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 and that Tokyo's Tsubame 2.0 supercomputer, running Windows HPC Server has surpassed a petaflop. Steve Clayton has an excellent post on Supercomputing from your desktop, and a wonderful picture of how I also remember the Cray supercomputer from 'back in the day'.
Virident puts 800GB on SSD. Solid-state storage solutions provider Virident Systems announced that the tach IOn Solid State Disk (SSD) is now available with 800 GBs of usable capacity. The form factor for the 800GB tach IOn is a low-profile (half-height, half-length) PCIe and is the densest high-performance PCIe SSD in the market. "With 800 GB of usable capacity and unsurpassed reliability in a compact design, you can imagine a 2U system with 3.2 TB of fast reliable SSDs using only four tachIOn devices in four PCIe slots," said Jan Silverman, vice president and general manager of tachIOn Products at Virident Systems. "Virident is making reliable, scalable SSD storage for enterprise-wide deployment a viable and desirable option."
Mellanox next generation InfiniBand. Mellanox Technologies (MLNX) announced the company’s support for the InfiniBand Trade Association’s (IBTA) FDR specification. Mellanox FDR InfiniBand technology will deliver more than an 80 percent increase in throughput, new sophisticated end-to-end data reliability and scaling mechanisms, and higher utilization of server and storage resources. They also announced the immediate availability of its new low-port count and power-efficient un-managed switches in the IS5000 switch system family: the 8-port IS5022 and 18-port IS5023. With more than 43 percent of the Top500 supercomputers using Infiniband Mellanox noted that over 98 percent of all InfiniBand clusters use Mellanox InfiniBand solutions.