HPC Technologies & Cloud Computing

Everyone from traditional web hosting companies to university HPC centers are rebranding themselves with the Cloud Computing moniker these days, but what's the reality behind the hype. We certainly have many great hardware and software products that can be used for HPC, web hosting, and just about anything else you would want to do "in a cloud", but when Sun talks about cloud computing, there are a couple of key defining concepts we focus on:
  • Virtualization
  • Multi-tenancy
  • Real-time, user-controlled provisioning
  • Pay-per-use

    We believe there will be many different types of clouds, including public clouds like Amazon's offerings and the Sun Cloud, enterprise clouds, clouds run by service providers, and other hybrid offerings.

    My group at Sun, besides selling large HPC systems, is responsible for helping customers build enterprise clouds using Sun's technology. Many of our customers are starting down the path of building enterprise clouds, most are not ready to talk about it in public. So I was very excited to read about NASA's enterprise cloud, called Nebula, and how it is using the Sun Lustre file system as a key part of their cloud architecture. The Nebula web site gives a detailed description of their Lustre implementation.

    My group has, of course, worked on most of the large Lustre deployments, including many on non-Sun hardware, that have been done around the world. One thing we realized is that not everyone has rocket scientists on their staff, and even if they do, they don't always want to spend their time custom-designing Lustre storage systems. So to help HPC and enterprise cloud customers simplify and accelerate the deployment of Lustre, we have created the Sun Lustre Storage System. Scaling from 1 to over 100 GB/sec, the modular architecture of the Sun Lustre Storage System makes it easy for anyone to deploy Lustre.

    In the coming days, you will be hearing a lot more about the Sun Cloud, and many other Sun technologies being used in our cloud deployments.

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