Menu
Sun builds Constellation of petascale supercomputing

Sun builds Constellation of petascale supercomputing

The only limit to scaling a Constellation is the price tag

Sun Microsystems is releasing a new high-performance computing (HPC) system that it said has the potential to create one of the largest supercomputers on the planet, reaching petascale.

Sun calls it the Constellation System. It's built on mainstream operating systems and hardware, but uses clusters and a new storage system, the Sun StorageTek 5800. That system can hold up to half a petabyte of storage per rack.

Sun's HPC cluster architecture uses chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and its own UltraSparc chips, and it supports Linux, Solaris and Windows operating systems. Each chassis can hold up to 48 blades. Sun also designed this system with InfiniBand switches.

Bjorn Andersson, director of HPC and integrated systems at Sun, said HPC users have already been assembling components into large systems. What Sun has done is to take general-purpose, industry-standard products coupled with open-source software and "designed it as an open, scalable architecture," he said.

The Constellation system can scale up to 2 petaflops, said Andersson. (A petaflop is the equivalent of 1,000 trillion floating-point operations per second.)

A Linux-based Constellation-class system named "Ranger" using 15,000 AMD quad-core Barcelona chips is already under construction at the University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computer Center (TACC). That system, which could become the world's largest supercomputer when it's completed next year, is capable of peak performance at 504 teraflops, or about half a petaflop.

The only limit to scaling the Constellation is the price tag associated with building out these systems. TACC representatives said the Texas system alone is costing some US$30 million.

Sun hopes to make the Constellation easy to deploy and said that it is offering a service to build and configure to customer specifications. That kind of supercomputer-in-a-box approach is becoming common as vendors release products intended to make it easy for new HPC users to adopt the technologies.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar with a bumper crowd of partners, distributors and vendors descending on The Pantry at Park Hyatt in Auckland to kick-start 2021.

Channel kicks 2021 into gear as After Hours returns to Auckland
The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Show Comments