University of Lübeck first in Europe to implement Terrascale's Terragrid

Montréal 28 June 2005The University of Lübeck's Institute of Computer Engineering, located in northern Germany and known by the acronym "ITI", is the first research centre in Europe to implement Terrascale's TerraGrid software into a large-scale computer cluster. The ITI cluster is based on Dual-Opteron blades from Angstrom Microsystems. The nodes are interconnected using a Topspin Infiniband switch and Linux distribution is provided by SuSe. System integration was performed by SCSuperComputingServices Ltd. The cluster is also used for medical applications.


Terrascale's TerraGrid is at the heart of the ITI cluster. TerraGrid galvanizes the individual components by providing universal access to all storage systems in the network at unprecedented I/O speeds. Initial benchmark tests demonstrated the linear scalability of the system. Equipped with inexpensive 32 MB/second IDE disks, each computing node may leverage total I/O performance of seven I/O servers at a bandwidth speed of 200 MB/second to access a single file system.

"The integration of Terrascale's TerraGrid software greatly enhances the overall performance of our computer cluster", stated Dr. Peter Sobe, Parallel Storage Researcher for Medical Applications, ITI, University of Lübeck. "This system is working perfectly. TerraGrid supports applications seamlessly and transparently. Installation is simple and operation is user-friendly. TerraGrid provides access to distributed I/O capacities optimizing network performance. Furthermore, TerraGrid facilitates the deployment and use of clusters by clarifying and simplifying operation", Dr. Sobe added.

"In the coming weeks, we will perform extensive performance and scaling tests with I/O intensive MPI applications to examine the scaling potential of TerraGrid on our eight-node system", stated Prof. Dr.-Ing. Erik Maehle, ITI Director. "Subsequently, we will also test TerraGrid with much larger systems. This work is important for us because we are convinced that I/O problems in cluster computing still require considerable research. The stability of this system is not a concern. Terrascale delivered a very reliable system for our SuSe-based Linux cluster, which we are launching to commemorate the twelfth anniversary of Informatics at the University of Lübeck", Professor Maehle added.

"TerraGrid dramatically enhances the performance of I/O-intensive parallel applications running on Linux-based cluster or blade servers", stated Gautham Sastri, President and CEO, Terrascale Technologies. "TerraGrid provides parallel access and linear scaling of I/O bandwidth with the addition of resources on networks including GigE, 10GigE, Infiniband, Myrinet and Quadrics. With TerraGrid, the only limitations on system performance are the availability of storage and network bandwidth", Mr. Sastri added.

Terrascale Technologies develops next-generation software platforms that enable existing serial applications to become high-performance, linearly scalable and massively parallel solutions that run on commodity servers and networks. Terrascale's flagship product TerraGrid enables commodity compute and application clusters - running on standard networks - to achieve wire-speed I/O rates, without additional hardware and while co-existing with the rich suite of open source software. Founded in 2002, Terrascale Technologies has offices in McLean, Virginia; Albuquerque, New Mexico and Montreal, Canada. Terrascale also has European partnerships in Germany and the United Kingdom.

Leslie Versweyveld

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