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Primeur weekly 2011-08-15

The Cloud

S&S Worldwide boosts sales by 75 percent with IBM Smarter Commerce software in the Cloud ...

Citrix extends desktop virtualization leadership with acquisition of RingCube ...

Desktop Grids

DistrRTgen added to BOINC project list ...

Infinispan 5.0 offers more than 45 new features ...

EuroFlash

Altair announces keynote presenters of 5th European HyperWorks Technology Conference ...

1st International IRISC Workshop to issue Call for Participation ...

Nottingham scientists pioneer new method for nanoribbon production ...

When atoms are surfing on optical waves ...

The diamond's quantum memory ...

USFlash

Addonics announces 5-Port HPM-XU port multiplier with eSATA/USB 3.0 connections and a family of RAID tower storage solutions ...

IBM terminates Blue Waters contract ...

Steve Scott to leave Cray ...

SDSC readying 'Gordon' supercomputer for pre-production trials this month ...

'Data Motion Metric' needed for supercomputer rankings, according to SDSC's Snavely ...

Platform Computing recognized for second consecutive year at International Business Awards ...

Supercomputer boosts research power, data support available at WKU facility ...

GNS Healthcare announces collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb ...

IBM raises bar, records highest ever TPC-C benchmark for x86 servers ...

Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g delivers record setting performance for 2-processor system on SPECjEnterprise2010 benchmark ...

Oracle Solaris 11 Express available on Oracle Exadata Database Machines ...

MOSAID files suit on computer networking patents ...

Emerson Network Power first to earn EAL2+ Common Criteria certification for secure KVM switch series ...

Fusion-io to acquire IO Turbine ...

Caltech-led engineers solve longstanding problem in photonic chip technology ...

NIST physicists 'entangle' 2 atoms using microwaves for the first time ...

Designing diamond circuits for extreme environments ...

Tufts computer engineer wins national award for research ...

Berkeley Lab researchers develop technique for dynamically controlling plasmonic airy beams ...

'Data Motion Metric' needed for supercomputer rankings, according to SDSC's Snavely

9 Aug 2011 San Diego - As we enter the era of data-intensive research and supercomputing, the world's top computer systems should not be ranked on calculation speed alone, according to Allan Snavely, associate director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego.

"I'd like to propose that we routinely compare machines using the metric of data motion capacity, or their ability to move data quickly", Allan Snavely told attendees of the 'Get Ready for Gordon - Summer Institute', held August 8-11 at SDSC to familiarize potential users with the unique capabilities of SDSC's new Gordon data-intensive supercomputer.

Gordon, the result of a five-year, $20 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), is the first high-performance supercomputer to use large amounts of flash-based SSD (solid state drive) memory. With about 300 trillion bytes of flash memory and 64 I/O nodes, Gordon will be capable of handling massive data bases while providing up to 100 times faster speeds when compared to hard drive disk systems for some queries. Flash memory is more common in smaller devices such as mobile phones and laptop computers, but unique for supercomputers, which generally use slower spinning disk technology.

The system is set to formally enter production on January 1, 2012, although pre-production allocations on some parts of the cluster will start as early as this month for U.S. academic researchers.

"This may be a somewhat heretical notion, but at SDSC we want a supercomputer to be data capable, not just FLOP/S capable", stated Allan Snavely, whom along with many other HPC experts now contend that supercomputers should also be measured by their overall ability to help researchers solve real-world science problems. Allan Snavely's proposal includes a measurement that weights DRAM, flash memory, and disk capacity according to access time in a compute cycle.

A common term within the supercomputing community, peak speed means the fastest speed at which a supercomputer can calculate. It is typically measured in FLOP/S, which stands for FLoating point OPerations per Second. In lay terms, it basically means peak calculations per second. In June, a Japanese supercomputer capable of performing more than 8 quadrillion calculations per second (petaflop/s) was ranked the top system in the world, putting Japan back in the top spot for the first time since 2004, according the latest edition of the TOP500 List of the world's supercomputers. The system, called the K Computer, is at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Kobe, Japan, and replaced China's Tianhe-1A system as the fastest supercomputer in the rankings, which has been using this metric since 1993.

"Everyone says we are literally drowning in data, but here are some simple technical reasons", stated Allan Snavely. "The number of cycles for computers to access data is getting longer - in fact disks are getting slower all the time as their capacity goes up but access times stay the same. It now takes twice as long to examine a disk every year, or put another way, this doubling of capacity halves the accessibility to any random data on a given media."

"That's a pernicious outcome for Moore's Law", he stated, noting that as the number of cycles for computers to access data gets longer, some large-scale systems are just "spending time twiddling their thumbs."

Source: San Diego Supercomputer Center

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2011-08-15

The Cloud

S&S Worldwide boosts sales by 75 percent with IBM Smarter Commerce software in the Cloud ...

Citrix extends desktop virtualization leadership with acquisition of RingCube ...

Desktop Grids

DistrRTgen added to BOINC project list ...

Infinispan 5.0 offers more than 45 new features ...

EuroFlash

Altair announces keynote presenters of 5th European HyperWorks Technology Conference ...

1st International IRISC Workshop to issue Call for Participation ...

Nottingham scientists pioneer new method for nanoribbon production ...

When atoms are surfing on optical waves ...

The diamond's quantum memory ...

USFlash

Addonics announces 5-Port HPM-XU port multiplier with eSATA/USB 3.0 connections and a family of RAID tower storage solutions ...

IBM terminates Blue Waters contract ...

Steve Scott to leave Cray ...

SDSC readying 'Gordon' supercomputer for pre-production trials this month ...

'Data Motion Metric' needed for supercomputer rankings, according to SDSC's Snavely ...

Platform Computing recognized for second consecutive year at International Business Awards ...

Supercomputer boosts research power, data support available at WKU facility ...

GNS Healthcare announces collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb ...

IBM raises bar, records highest ever TPC-C benchmark for x86 servers ...

Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g delivers record setting performance for 2-processor system on SPECjEnterprise2010 benchmark ...

Oracle Solaris 11 Express available on Oracle Exadata Database Machines ...

MOSAID files suit on computer networking patents ...

Emerson Network Power first to earn EAL2+ Common Criteria certification for secure KVM switch series ...

Fusion-io to acquire IO Turbine ...

Caltech-led engineers solve longstanding problem in photonic chip technology ...

NIST physicists 'entangle' 2 atoms using microwaves for the first time ...

Designing diamond circuits for extreme environments ...

Tufts computer engineer wins national award for research ...

Berkeley Lab researchers develop technique for dynamically controlling plasmonic airy beams ...