Computers to make eCabinets scream!!!

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DanEpps
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Computers to make eCabinets scream!!!

Postby DanEpps » Tue, Aug 14 2007, 6:30AM

Okay, Kerry started this with his Cray XT4 tagline...

Here is the list of the 500 fastest computing sites in the world as of June 2007.

As you can see, Kerry's Cray (specs page) comes in second place to IBM's BlueGene/L (specs page).

The IBM uses 700 MHz PowerPC processors (65,536 of them!) and the Cray uses 2.6GHz AMD processors (11,706 of them!).

If you would like to buy your very own personal supercomputer, check this out: Tyan's 40 CPU Personal Supercomputer, very affordable at $20,000 (when compared to the prices of IBM and Cray :wink: ).

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Postby Kerry Fullington » Tue, Aug 14 2007, 7:16AM

Thanks a lot Dan,
I traded off my Tandy TRS-80 to get this new Cray, I haven't even tried eCabinets on it and you are telling me I will have to upgrade. I think I am going to try upgrading the XT4 to its maximum of 120,000 processor cores before I junk it for the IBM.
Seriously, what started the Cray thing is that I ran across an article from 2000 when Phillips Petroleum purchased one of its Crays for finding new oil deposits. My sister has been employed by Phillips for around 25 years and her office was in the computer building at the time this 3.6 million dollar computer was installed. I hadn't purchased my first computer at that time and I couldn't see what the big deal was. This Cray had 136 675MHZ processors and 84G memory. As with all computers it is now considered small. I don't know if this has been replaced or not. Do Supercomputers become obsolete every two years?
I also found it interesting that Cray uses AMD Processors.

Kerry

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Postby DanEpps » Tue, Aug 14 2007, 8:07AM

That was a real eye-opener on the processors, eh? Did you notice that the Cray and Tyan both run Linux? The Tyan will also run on Windows!!!

Also on the list at #8 is an array of Dell PowerEdge 1955 servers in a grid configuration.

The really interesting thing about these \"supercomputers\" is that most are arrays of computers interconnected by a really fast backbone (read \"internal network\"). Everyone thinks of a supercomputer as being a single computer but that is not the case. They have a \"controller\" that decides which node(s) will do the work. In software designed for multiprocessing, the controller will divide the work between as many nodes as possible to accomplish the task quicker. Each node has its own processors and memory and all share a disk storage array.

I don't think supercomputers become obsolete every two years like PCs simply because of the cost. Remember back when you got an 8MHz CPU, 64KB RAM and a 5MB disk drive for $3000 (~$7500 2007 dollars)? That PC wasn't obsolete in two years :wink:

Today's big obsolescence problem is of course of our own making. As soon as a computer is developed to meet the requirements of our software, we ask for more features in the software. When the features are added to the software, the hardware can't keep up, thus new hardware is developed, ad infinitum :cry:

Anyway, I hope everyone enjoyed this lighter look at the state of computing.

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Postby Rick Palechuk » Tue, Aug 14 2007, 8:13PM

Thanks for the insight Dan. Still on the lighter side, Kerry, how's that spray room coming along?

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Postby Kerry Fullington » Wed, Aug 15 2007, 6:47AM

Rick,
The spray room is still just a drawing. I have to shut down the shop and spray on weekends if I finish anything. There still isn't the volume of work here for me to justify any new equipment or additions.
Kerry

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Postby Bill Rutherford » Wed, Aug 15 2007, 6:57AM

Dan,
I was reading up on the IBM BlueGene/L (Considering one for the office :D :D ) They mention that is can be scaled up to a performance equal to 3 or 4 petaflop.

What in the HE** is a petaflop? it sounds like something the dog might do in the back yard. Seriously who comes up with these words?
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Postby Kerry Fullington » Wed, Aug 15 2007, 7:17AM

Bill,
I haven't heard of a petaflop. A teraflop or tflop is trillion calculations per second. That is a lot.

I googled it.
\"A petaflop is a measure of a computer s processing speed and can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second.\"

I think most PCs are still measured in gigaflops.


Kerry

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Postby DanEpps » Wed, Aug 15 2007, 7:31AM

From Webopedia:

A petaflop is the ability of a computer to do one quadrillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS.) Additionally, a petaflop can be measured as “one thousand teraflops”. A petaflop computer would require a massive number of computers working in parallel on the same problem. Applications might include real-time nuclear magnetic resonance imaging during surgery or even astrophysical simulation.


From Wikipedia:

In physics and mathematics, peta- (symbol: P) is a prefix in the SI (system of units) denoting 10^15, or 1 000 000 000 000 000. For example:

1 petametre = 10^15 metres

1 petasecond = 10^15 seconds

Adopted in 1975, it comes from the Greek πέντε, meaning five, because it is equal to 10005. It is based on the model of tera- (from Greek τέρας = 'monster', but looking like tetra- from the Greek for \"four\" with a letter missing, and so peta-, coming from penta-, omits the third letter, n.

In computer science peta- can sometimes mean 1 125 899 906 842 624 (10245 or 250), instead of 1 000 000 000 000 000, especially when used to prefix the byte, giving a petabyte. To resolve this ambiguity, the term pebibyte has been suggested to mean 250 bytes. However, this term is not yet widely used.

See table for other \"useful\" terms of scientific measurement :wink:

EDIT: changed occurances of 1015 to 10^15
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Re:

Postby Al Navas » Wed, Aug 15 2007, 7:35AM

DanEpps wrote:...
1 petametre = 1015 metres

1 petasecond = 1015 seconds



Dan,

Are those 10 ^ 15 in each case???


Al

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Re:

Postby DanEpps » Wed, Aug 15 2007, 7:38AM

Al Navas wrote:...Are those 10 ^ 15 in each case...


Yep...the superscript didn't copy too well did it?

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Postby DanEpps » Wed, Aug 15 2007, 7:39AM

I can't wait until we can get yottaflop PCs :mrgreen:

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DUH!!!

Postby Al Navas » Wed, Aug 15 2007, 8:19AM

DanEpps wrote:...the superscript didn't copy too well did it?


Dan,

DUH !!!! on me again... I should have looked at the attachment, right? I kept scratching my head, trying to figure out the 1015 part - and the ONLY 1015 thing I know is the onion, in Texas. The sweetest onions I have ever eaten, and almost as sweet as apples when eaten raw.


Al

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Postby DanEpps » Wed, Aug 15 2007, 8:55AM

All this time I thought PETA was a radical animal rights group...now I know it is the prefix Kerry uses to count his pocket change (petadollars) :joker:

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Postby Bill Rutherford » Wed, Aug 15 2007, 9:07AM

I like my definition better :lol:
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