Gaussian on Solaris 10
By marchamilton on Nov 26, 2007
If you are a computational chemist, or have taken a college level course in computational chemistry in the last 10 years, you most likely have used the Gaussian software in your work. Gaussian is one of the most popular computational chemistry software packages. Solving computational chemistry equations also happends to be one of the most memory and compute intensive HPC applications in many university and industry HPC research centers. Tokyo Tech's TSUBAME supercomputer has on occasion run 20,000 simultaneous Gaussian jobs and in its first year of operation ran a total of 1.3M Gaussian jobs. Long available on the Solaris SPARC platform, Gaussian is now available for Solaris on Opteron. Because it supports up to 256 GB of memory, one of the largest memory capacities of any x86 server, and up to 8 Opteron processors, Sun's x4600 server, like the 655 systems that make up the TSUBAME cluster, is a favorite workhorse of Gaussian users. While Gaussian has fairly strict regulations on reporting of benchmarks, Solaris users have observed up to 30% performance increases running the Solaris version of Gaussian on their x4600's compared to the Linux version. Features like Solaris' memory placement optimization and large page size support no doubt help Solaris outperform Linux on computationally and memory intensive codes like Gaussian running on the x4600 and other high capacity x86 servers. So if you are still running Linux on your x4600, and want a free performance upgrade, think about trying out the latest version of Solaris 10. Save your money for that Opteron quad core upgrade.