Linux supercomputer to bolster national security projects at Lawrence Livermore National Lab

Salt Lake City 15 July 2002 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) selected Linux NetworX to design, integrate and deliver what will be the largest and most powerful Linux supercomputer by Fall 2002. Multiple programmes at LLNL will use the Linux NetworX Evolocity clustered supercomputer to support the Laboratory's national security mission. When delivered, the Intel-based cluster is expected to be one of the five fastest supercomputers in the world.

"A machine of this size is very complex to integrate and manage. The partnership between Linux NetworX and LLNL is essential to the success of this endeavour", stated Dr. Mark Seager, LLNL's Assistent Department Head for TeraScale Systems. "This Linux NetworX system will significantly expand the computing resources available to Livermore's researchers. We are very excited about the unclassified scientific simulations that will be accomplished on this world-class Linux Cluster."

The Linux NetworX Evolocity cluster, when delivered to LLNL, will be the fastest Intel-based or Linux cluster machine ever built, as it will harness 1920 Intel Xeon processors at 2.4 GHz with a theoretical peak of 9.2 teraFlops, or 9.2 trillion calculations per second.

"This Intel-based Linux NetworX system is historic in that it represents a viable method of using standards-based technologies to create some of the fastest supercomputers in the world", stated Lisa Hambrick, director of enterprise processor marketing for Intel. "Linux NetworX and Intel are expanding the possibilities of supercomputing into a world where the fastest machines are powered by cost-effective and very powerful Intel Xeon processors."

Several factors enabled Linux NetworX to win this competitive procurement, some of which include:

  • Clustering expertise, gained from years of installing and supporting some of the largest clusters in the world. Linux NetworX designed and delivered the world's first commercial Linux cluster in 1997.
  • LinuxBIOS, an open BIOS alternative that can boot nodes in seconds, is remotely manageable and is designed specifically for cluster systems.
  • ICE Box, a Linux NetworX appliance designed specifically for management of Linux clusters, providing system monitoring and control functionality such as power control and serial access.
  • Sub 1U Evolocity II, a double-density node design with an innovative architecture.
  • Co-development of SLURM or Simple Linux Utility for Resource Management with LLNL. SLURM is an open source resource management system developed for Linux clusters providing scalability, portability, interconnect independence, fault-tolerance and security.

"This Linux NetworX system is representative of the next stage in the evolution of supercomputing", stated Stephen Hill, Linux NetworX President and CEO. "Clustering allows organisations to achieve results quicker, with far greater flexibility at a lower cost-of-ownership than is possible with competing technologies. This is why Linux clusters are rapidly becoming the standard in high performance computing."

The Linux NetworX system will be seven times more powerful than Deep Blue, the IBM computer that beat world chess champion Garry Kasperov in 1997. Compared to the average home PC, the Linux NetworX system will have the same amount of processing power as 9200 PCs and can do in 1 day what would take an average PC 25 years.

The Linux NetworX system could assemble the human genome in 21 days, compared to the 150 days it took the Compaq Alpha Cluster that Celera used. The Linux NetworX system will be able to hold the entire Library of Congress in memory four times.

The Linux NetworX system will be 4.6 times more powerful than the Sun Enterprise render farm used by Pixar to create the movie Monsters Inc.


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