Japanese lab adds cluster supercomputer from Linux Networx

The 556-processor Evolocity II cluster will be used as part of a massive supercomputing grid project

A Japanese national laboratory has bolstered its massive 11-TFLOPS Supercluster supercomputer system with the addition of a 3.182-TFLOPS, 556-processor supercomputer from Linux Networx.

In an announcement this week, Bluffdale, Utah-based Linux Networx said the new cluster was built for Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

The 556-processor Evolocity II (E2) cluster, which will be used for grid computing and research in life sciences, nanotechnology and fields such as weather and seismic forecasting, will be integrated with the research laboratory's existing AIST Supercluster system in Tsukuba, Japan, according to Brad Rutledge, a Linux Networx spokesman. The AIST Supercluster, which is theoretically capable of 11 trillion floating operations per second (TFLOPS) and was built by the AIST, links up with another computer system to form Japan's largest distributed computing grid, according to Linux Networx.

The new E2 cluster was built using 556 Intel Xeon 3.06-GHz processors with 4GB of memory per node and runs cluster management tools from Linux Networx, Clusterworx and ICE Box. Also included is 20TB of storage from Silicon Graphics Inc. in Mountain View, Calif. The Linux Networx cluster will reduce the burden of the AIST Supercluster by processing smaller jobs and providing common storage over the entire system, the company said.

The cost of the system was about $3 million, including storage.

The E2 cluster was installed in the AIST's new Grid Technology Research Center.

"The GTRC aims to become the focal point of research and development in the grid communities in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region," Satoshi Sekigucki, the research center director, said in a statement. "To accomplish this goal, we must have cutting-edge cluster systems that are reliable and powerful. The cluster provided by Linux Networx and SGI will be a key contributor to the success of the grid program."

The AIST is Japan's largest public research organization. Its mission is to research and develop industrial science and technology, geological surveys, measurement standards and technological applications for the private sector.

The new cluster was delivered Feb. 25 and was fully installed four days later, according to Linux Networx. Acceptance testing began March 16 and was completed March 25.

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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