With its 1,088 computing cores, 100TB of data storage tied to a Quad data rate Infiniband network and a quoted performance of 13 Teraflops at peak -- equivalent to up to thirteen trillion operations per second -- the new High Performance Computer at Scotland's University of Strathclyde, implemented by supplier Esteem Systems using Sun technology, enables the university's Faculty of Engineering to address complex problems in materials, fluid dynamics and design.
John E. Dunn reports on the new installation in ComputerWorldUK, where he writes,
"As important as the processing power for the HPC is the use of Suns parallel file system, Lustre, noted for its ability to scale without bottlenecks developing."
Professor Jason Reese of the Universitys Department of Mechanical Engineering commented on the installation, saying, "This state-of-the-art facility will help us perform engineering and scientific modeling to a level of detail that would not be possible using physical experiments. The investment reflects Strathclyde's vision to be a leading international technological university." He added that, the HPC would be set to work on problems relating to the simulation of fluids at nanoscale levels, predicting welding distortion and complex forms of aerodynamics.
While other HPC installations in the UK are larger, Strathclyde's new installation will enhance by several factors the university's ability to run complex simulations. The Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centres Cray XT4 farm, for example, outscales Strathclyde but that system, dubbed HECToR (High-End Computing Terascale Resource), which can reach peak number crunching of 321 Terflops based on the spec quoted on the EPPC website, cost £113 million to build. Strathclydes more modest HPC had a much more modest bill of £500,000, and defines its power in term of the clustering of Sun HPC servers into a single logical computing unit.
Sun HPC Recent Developments
Sun Rapid Solutions Sun Compute Cluster
The Lustre File System and the Sun Constellation System
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