Furthering its push into the supercomputing arena, Sun Microsystems has announced a new line of servers, dubbed Ultra HPC, aimed at high performance computing customers.
The manufacturer wants to beef up its offerings at the high end - based on its Ultrasparc processor - to compete with machines already established in the scientific computing market, such as Digital Equipment?s Alpha 8400 Turbo Laser and Hewlett-Packard?s Exemplar series.
The new HPC server line has the same hardware configuration as Sun's current line of Ultra Enterprise corporate servers, but comes bundled with software to support the floating point-intensive and parallel computing applications required in the scientific supercomputing base.
According to John Pattenden, server product marketing manager at Sun, ?The high performance computing market doesn?t realise general purpose computers can help them. When they think of high end vendors they think of Cray or Convex, Sun doesn?t jump out at them,? he said. ?But we are eating away at the market. In revenue terms we are number two to HP in the broad high end server market.?
The HPC software environment includes LSF (Load Sharing Facility), a de facto standard for workload management, which transparently allocates the available computing resources on the network when a user submits a job. It also includes MPI (Message Passing Interface) and PVM (Parallel Virtual machine), software libraries for that allow programmers to develop parallelised applications, which can run interchangeably on clustered or symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems.
Sun?s Ultra HPC servers are available now in six different SMP configurations, from the desktop Ultra HPC2 to the supercomputer-class Ultra HPC 10000 server. The servers scale from two to 64 CPUs and offer up to 64Gbytes of memory and 20Tbytes of storage. Prices range from $43,745 to over $2.5 million.
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