SC11 News: IBM, Cray, Extreme Networks, Schneider

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A number of announcements, demonstrations and records being broken are taking place this week in Seattle as the Supercomputing 2011 (SC11) conference is taking over the Washington State Convention Center. Here are a few of the announcements being made:

IBM Announces Blue Gene/Q.  IBM announced its next generation supercomputing project, Blue Gene/Q, will provide an ultra-scale technical computing platform to solve the most challenging problems facing engineers and scientists at faster, more energy efficient, and more reliable rates than ever before. When it is fully deployed in 2012 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the system, named “Sequoia”, is expected to achieve 20 petaflops at peak performance. IBM and LLNL are also aiming for extreme energy efficiency by achieving 2 gigaflops per watt with Blue Gene/Q.  Blue Gene/Q will be used to help predict the path of hurricanes, analyze the ocean floor to discover oil, simulate nuclear weapons performance and decode gene sequences. “Completing computationally intensive projects for a wide variety of scientific applications that were previously unsolvable is not just possible – it is now probable,” said Brian Connors, VP of technical computing at IBM. “IBM’s historic role in developing the supercomputers that provide the power behind critical applications across every industry has uniquely positioned us to provide reliable supercomputing at the highest level.”

Cray enters storage market and touts OpenACC.  Cray announced the latest addition to its line of high performance computing (HPC) products with the launch of the Cray Sonexion 1300 system — an integrated file system, software and storage product. With this Cray can offer a complete and scalable Lustre file system that will scale from 50 terabytes to more than 50 petabytes of useable capacity. The Cray Sonexion 1300 storage system will be a key part of the recently announced Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, and will provide more than one terabyte-per-second of aggregate bandwidth. ”More and more of our customers have expressed a need for increased performance, reliability and manageability from storage systems that can be shared with their highest performance, mission critical systems in their datacenter,” said Barry Bolding, Cray’s vice president of storage and data management. “As a result, we decided to provide a storage product with a scale-out architecture, which is purpose-designed and built to run Lustre, but employs a testing discipline and set of integrated management tools that exceeds other available solutions. The Cray Sonexion 1300 storage solution greatly improves the user experience with shared, scalable Lustre file systems – both large and small.”  Cray also joined NVIDIA, the Portland Group (PGI), and CAPS enterprise to announce a new parallel-programming standard, known as OpenACC. OpenACC is a new open parallel programming standard designed to enable the millions of scientific and technical programmers to easily take advantage of the transformative power of heterogeneous CPU/GPU computing systems.

Extreme Networks and Schneider power SC11.  Bringing together  infrastructure behind the scenes for a conference about high-performance computing is a chance for vendors to show off their high-performance gear.  Extreme Networks (EXTR) is providing Ethernet switching solutions addressing the ultra-high speed, energy efficiency and latency needs. The company this week is showing its recently tested BlackDiamond X8 switch, which was profiled as 3-10 times faster than any core switch in the market in this Lippis Report video. At the company’s conference booth they will be discussing how its 10/40GbE Open Fabric switching network solutions, the BlackDiamond X8 and Summit X670 switches, featuring the ExtremeXOS modular operating system, meet the needs of HPCC and emerging Big Data Hadoop clusters. Schneider Electric was named as an official provider of power for supporting the conference. During the show high performance applications will be running through the data center backed by APC by Schneider Electric’s Symmetera PX 250 UPS and InfraStruxure 150kW PDU.

SC11 updates can be found through the Twitter hashtag #SC11 or @Supercomputing

About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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