Humungazoid Sun Cluster Unveiled

Friday afternoon I got in my car and headed over to the UT's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) for the dedication of the Ranger Supercomputer  aka the Sun Constellation System.

I was expecting a relatively low-key event but was surprised by what a big deal it turned out to be.  Jonathan Schwartz was there as was Hector Ruiz, CEO of AMD, and the food was amazing.


L-R: William Powers - President of UT; Congressman Michael McCaul; Jay Bosisseau - director of TACC, Hector Ruiz, Jonathan Schwartz, Dan Atkins - NFS,  Juan Sanchez - VP of research at UT.

It's all about communities, its all about sharing

Ranger is being billed as the world's most powerful supercomputer for open science research.  90% of its power will go to the National Science Foundation's TeraGrid while TACC will only take 10% for itself.  In fact, it was a five-year $59 million dollar award from the NSF to TACC that made this possible.


Andy Bechtolsheim (right) next to the model of the Ranger.

Ranger and the Oscars 

Speaking of the 10% that TACC will take for itself and the great state of Texas, while I was watching the Oscar pre-show on Sunday there was an actual commercial for Ranger.  It was done by a local news station here in Austin who will "soon be bringing you meteorological reports backed by the power of Ranger".  They talked about how powerful it was and showed a walk through with cool special effects.   You could even see the Sun logo (if you were looking)
 


Folks taking a closer look.

The Stats

Ranger:  Sun Constellation Linux Cluster

  • 504 teraflops (504 trillion operations per second) peak performance, provided by 15,744 AMD Quad-core Processors (62,976 cores)
  • 123 terabytes total memory, with 32 gigabytes for each of 3936 compute nodes
  • 1.7 petabytes total disk in a Luster parallel file system, plus 10 petabyte capacity Sun STK data archival sysems
  • 13.5 terabytes/second interconnect backplane bandwidth, provide by 2 Sun Data Center Switches, each with up to 3, 456 InfiniBand 4x ports
The question I have is how long would it take Ranger to arrive at 42


Thar she blows! 


One of the two gianormous switches at the center of the cluster -- Texas style. 

 


One of the six rows of machines.  The interspersed black cabinets are fans to keep it cool. 

Pau for now...

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I look after Sun's relationships with the various GNU/Linux communities as well as our relationship with the FSF. Last year, my family and I emigrated from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX.

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