Wednesday Jul 22, 2009

xVM Ops Center at Supercomputing

Last month, Sun was a sponsor of the International Super Computing Conference (ISCC) in Germany, and the Ops Center team was there to show off the latest in how Ops Center can be used in High Performance Computing (HPC) environments.  Prasad Pai is our own HPC rockstar who has been responsible for major super computing installations like TACC, KISTI, and Clemson choosing Ops Center as part of their infrastructure.

Prasad was on hand to show off how Ops Center can be best used in these kinds of environments.  In particular, Ops Center's scalability and agentless hardware monitoring make it a great choice for these kinds of environments.  Below you can see a picture of Prasad demonstrating Ops Center at the conference.

Over the past couple of months, we've been upgrading customers from older Ops Center version to the newest available 2.1 version -- TACC just recently upgraded to 2.1.  However, there's even more coming in 2.5 that HPC customers will like.  In particular, because today's supercomputers use so many nodes, scalability is really important.  To that end, we've built a 1,000 node cluster (nicknamed Nessie) of older hardware that we can use for internal scalability testing.  Because Nessie is dedicated to the task, we can really abuse it in ways we wouldn't do to our customer's production (or even pre-production systems).  With this ability to try extreme use-cases we've been able to dramatically increase performance at large scale.  I'll plan to post a few stats about our performance work here soon.

Sunday Sep 28, 2008

Ranger Supercomputer Tour

A little while back I had the chance to visit the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and see the Ranger Super Computer -- which is built using an array of Sun hardware and software (including xVM Ops Center).  I took a little video while I was there, but never got a chance to splice it together.  This past week I found some spare time to get out the video editing suite.  Here's a micro-sized tour of one of the world's most powerful supercomputers.


Wednesday Jun 18, 2008

xVM Ops Center in HPC

While Virtualization and Data Center Automation for the Enterprise is a big focus for Ops Center, HPC is another area where Ops Center is seeing major traction.  The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) was the first place we rolled out Ops Center into full production, and since that we've also put it into production on another large HPC cluster in Korea.

The TACC Ranger computer was the first instance of the complete Sun Constellation System.  When Constellation was being designed, Ops Center wasn't yet complete and Ops Center was added after the first phase of the build.  However, at the International Super Computing conference in Dresden this week, Sun announced the newest incarnation of the Constellation stack.  Here's the list of software officially included in the stack, which now includes Ops Center!

Sun HPC Software, Linux Edition 1.0 speeds cluster deployment times by up to 10x by avoiding extensive software integration and testing, writing custom scripts and complicated deployment to compute nodes.

Sun xVM Ops Center 1.1 supports a multitude of RedHat and SuSE Linux variants along with Solaris in one unified solution to allow for updates and monitoring of different OS environments using one system.

Sun Visualization Software 1.1 key for analyzing complex data rapidly, combines both Sun(TM) Scalable Visualization software and Sun(TM) Shared Visualization software with NVIDIA graphics solutions, Sun systems, networking and interconnect. Scales across Sun systems to support immersive environments and remote visualization.

Solaris HPC Developer Preview integrates Sun HPC Cluster Tools (for Open MPI), Sun(TM) Grid Engine (for application workload management), and Sun(TM) Studio software (for application development), enables rapid development and optimization of HPC applications and then seamlessly allows the software to be deployed in a parallel environment.

Sun HPC Cluster Tools 8.0 provides developers with the tools to create and tune Message-passing Interface (MPI) applications that run on high performance clusters and SMPs and offers parallel application performance analysis and optimization by incorporating VampirTrace and MPI PERUSE.

Sun Grid Engine 6.2 enhances scalability by supporting larger grids and offers finer grain control required by interdependent workloads and provides the ability to move resources from grid to grid in multi-cluster HPC environments.

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Thoughts on cloud computing, virtualization and data center management from Steve Wilson, Oracle engineering VP.

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