Sun expands high performance computing server range

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Sun expands high performance computing server range

Sun Microsystems has launched a range of products aimed at the high performance computing (HPC) market as part of its Open Network Systems initiative.

The new servers, integrated open storage and high performance networking systems are designed to bring scale, simplicity and savings to the HPC segment, which is dominated by rivals HP and IBM.

Spearheading the range is the next-generation Sun Constellation System, designed to address a broad range of HPC applications requiring high throughput, large memory and fast I/O.

The system combines the dual-node Sun Blade X6275 server module powered by Intel's Nehalem processor, along with the Sun Blade 6048 InfiniBand Quad Data Rate Network Express Module, the Sun Blade 6048 chassis, the Sun Cooling Door system, the Lustre file system and Sun's Open Storage portfolio.

Sun Blade server nodes can be separately provisioned to run Linux, Windows, Solaris or OpenSolaris, and give users the flexibility to migrate nodes from one operating system to another as needed.

"Slow pipes and slow storage have limited HPC systems for years. The solution is to evolve the industry's view of HPC to include high performance I/O and networking," said John Fowler, executive vice president of the systems group at Sun.

"Today, Sun is taking integrated compute, software, networking and storage to the next level, and our innovations are giving HPC customers the speed, scalability and simplicity to help solve the world's greatest challenges."

The combination of the Sun Blade 6048 chassis and Sun Blade X6275 server module can pack up to 48 physical blades per rack, supporting 96 nodes of two-socket, quad-core processors per node, totalling 768 processor cores and nine teraflops of peak performance in a single 42U rack.

The systems boast an integrated signalling and switching approach to optimise per-node performance, and system-wide scaling for application communications and I/O.

This reduces network bottlenecks, and cuts cabling by up to 84 per cent, switches by 97 per cent and rack space by 75 per cent, according to Sun.

Sun claimed that that the high-speed InfiniBand interconnect is perfect for communications-intensive applications such as weather modelling and forecasting, high energy and nuclear physics, molecular dynamics calculations and seismic processing.

The Sun Lustre Storage System, meanwhile, features a suite of Sun services enabling users to scale online capacity from 48TB up to multiple petabytes, as well as scaling I/O performance to more than 100Gbit/s, the firm said.

Sun also promised high performance, high availability and cost efficiency with the inclusion of pre-defined metadata server and object storage server configurations, along with standard configuration and delivery.

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