Roundup: Amazon's HPC Cloud, vSphere 4.1

Amazon (AMZN) announces the availabiliy of cluster compute instances for EC2, enabling HPC in the Amazon cloud. Also, VMware rolls out its vSphere 4.1 virtualization platform.

John Rath

July 14, 2010

2 Min Read
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Here’s a roundup of some of this week’s headlines from the data center and hosting industry:

Amazon HPC in the cloud. Amazon announced the availability of Cluster Compute Instances for Amazon EC2, a new instance type specifically designed for high performance computing (HPC) applications and other demanding network-bound applications. The Cluster Compute instance family currently contains a single instance type, the Cluster Compute Quadruple Extra Large with 23GB memory, 33.5 EC2 Compute Units, 64 bit platform, 10 Gigabit Ethernet I/O, and 1,690 GB of instance storage. They are available for Linux use in the U.S. - Northern Virginia Region.  Amazon worked closely with researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to develop the HPC cloud offering. James Hamilton shared a post Tuesday explaining that for $1.60 per hour you could have one of the biggest supercomputers in the world for your own private use.  James explains that Amazon HPC team engineer Matt Klein cranked up LINPACK using an 880 server sub-cluster and achieved a 41.82 TFop - which would place it at #146 on the TOP500 list of supercomputers.

VMware announces vSphere 4.1. VMware (VMW) announced VMware vSphere 4.1, the latest version of the award-winning VMware virtualization platform, as well as an expanded portfolio of virtualization management solutions.  Features new to vSphere 4.1 include 2X larger resource pools with 3X the management power, up to 25 percent better performance and reduced cost per application, 5X faster virtual machine migrations for increased agility, new network and storage I/O controls deliver quality of service guarantees and increased performance through open integration with storage environments.  With the introduction of new VMware VStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI), vSphere 4.1 enables tighter integration with solutions from VMware's storage partners to increase the efficiency and performance of the platform in cloud environments.  VMware also introduced vCenter Configuration Manager for policy based compliance and vCenter Application Discovery Manager for mapping application dependencies to accelerate data center moves and plan infrastructure. A new licensing model is being introduced and solutions start at $83 per processor for small and mid-size businesses, up to $3,495 for the most demanding environments. Storage vendors lined up Tuesday in support of the VMware announcement:

  • NetApp (NTAP) announced new storage management integration for greater performance and scalability of VMware vSphere environments.  NetApp Virtual Storage Console enables customers to centrally manage all NetApp® storage for VMware environments directly from the VMware vCenter™ Server console and fully leverage the benefits of virtualized infrastructures.

  • Compellent (CML) announced the integration and certification of its Fluid Data storage platforms with VMware vSphere 4.1.

  • 3PAR (PAR) announced full support for VMware vSphere 4.1 and the development of a new 3PAR plug-in for VMware vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI).

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