System News
Pathways to Petascale Computing -- Updated White Paper
Includes Information on the Latest Xeon Processors, QDR InfinBand
May 13, 2009,
Volume 135, Issue 2

Sun Constellation System

-- systemic design approach to building and scaling large petascale computing environments

"Pathways to Open Petascale Computing: The Sun Constellation System - Designed for Performance" (login or registration required) is an updated version of a white paper covered in an earlier System News article that now presents fully updated information on the latest Xeon processors and QDR InfinBand, describing Sun's systemic design approach to building and scaling large petascale computing environments with Sun Constellation System.

This document describes the key challenges and constraints involved in the build-out of petascale supercomputing architectures, including network fabrics, multicore modular compute systems, storage, open HPC software, and general-purpose I/O. Readers will discover the importance of balanced and rigorous design methodology, review the fabric challenge, understand storage for grids and clusters, and much more.

As the white paper notes, the Sun Constellation System delivers an open and standard supercomputing architecture that provides massive scalability, a dramatic reduction in complexity, and breakthrough economics. Coupled with the Sun Blade 6048 InfiniBand QDR Switched NEM, the Sun Project M9 InfiniBand switch offers a compelling solution that supports up to 5,184 nodes in a dense and consolidated InfiniBand Clos cluster.

Implemented as a massive InfiniBand core switch, the Sun DS 3456 can support up to 3,456 4x InfiniBand connections and providing up to 55 tbps of bi-sectional bandwidth. Together with the Sun Blade 6048 InfiniBand Switched NEM, up to four Sun DS 3456 core switches can be combined to connect up to 13,824 nodes in a single InfiniBand fabric. The Sun DS 3x24 can support up to 72 individual 4x InfiniBand ports and clusters up to 288 nodes.

With the innovative and robust 12x connectors and cables, these switches drastically reduce the number of switches and cables required for large supercomputing installations — eliminating hundreds of switches, and thousands of cables.

The Sun Blade 6048 modular system is the first blade platform designed for extreme density and performance. With a choice of the latest SPARC, Intel, and AMD processors, the Sun Blade 6048 modular system integrates tightly with the Sun Project M9 InfiniBand switch as well as the Sun DS 3456, and 3x24. Fully compatible with the Sun Blade 6000 modular system, server modules run standard open-source operating systems such as the Solaris OS and Linux, and can deploy general-purpose software that does not require custom coding, compiles, and tuning.

A modular and efficient design realizes savings in both power and cooling. Along with a breadth of Sun StorageTek storage offerings, the Sun Fire X4540 server provides one of the most economical and scalable parallel file system building blocks available — serving effectively as an OSS. Supporting up to 48 TB in a single 4U chassis, the Sun Fire X4540 server effectively combines a powerful multisocket, multicore x64 server with large-scale storage, and direct InfiniBand connectivity.

The Sun Fire X4250 server and optional Sun Storage J4400 arrays can be combined to build a highly-effective high-availability OSS module. Coupled with the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System, the scalable ZFS file system effectively implements hybrid storage pools across system memory, solid state drives, and conventional hard disk drives — offering scalable and robust storage for tier-1 archival and user home directories.

The Sun Constellation System also supports the Sun HPC Software stack that benefits application developers and cluster users alike. Integrated tools such as Sun Studio 12 provide the fastest compilers available, tuned to get the most of Sun platforms. Sun HPC Cluster Tools enable the development of cluster-ready applications. Sun Grid Engine provides distributed resource management along with policy enforcement as it distributes jobs for execution. Sun xVM Ops Center provides monitoring, patching, and simplified inventory management for clusters. Together these tools help ensure that development and management of large clusters remains manageable as they scale towards petascale.

More Information

Sun Constellation System

Sun Datacenter Switch 3456

Sun Datacenter Switch 3x24

Sun Blade Servers

Sun Fire X4540 Server

Sun Fire X4250 Server

Sun StorageTek Storage Products

Sun HPC Software, Linux Edition

Sun Grid Engine

Sun High Performance Computing

Read More ... [ more...]



Other articles in the section of Volume 135, Issue 2:
  • Pathways to Petascale Computing -- Updated White Paper (this article)
  • HPC News Bites

See all archived articles in the section.

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