It looks like selling baby supercomputers based on a blade design and running the HPC variants of Windows and Linux is not as easy as Cray had hoped - which is why Cray has announced a new lower-end baby super, the CX1-LC. The LC is short for "Light Configuration", and the idea is to get Cray blade iron into engineering offices …
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Maybe if Cray were to serve up their new offerings with Fluorinert(tm) cooling and requiring as much investment in heat-exchangers/power-supplies as in the actual compute-surface, people would still take them seriously.
It looks like selling baby supercomputers ... not as easy as Cray had hoped
they dont exactly help themselves since you can't even get a quote as it goes 'your not in the usa piss off'.
well, it actually says 'Pricing shown on this site is for North American customers only' but the translation is the same since were all totally unable to use xe.com.
Bite-size number crunching
This actually makes a lot of sense.
A dual CPU, quad-core Xeon workstation is perfectly capable of running serious parallel simulations, and usually does so (at least in my department) running a flavour of Linux and OpenMPI. Even on such small system, CFD programs (for example) can spit out terabytes of data within a matter of days. Moreover, since most scientific calculations involve the processors going flat out at 99% usage for days/weeks on end, something that many workstations are not designed to do, it's not uncommon to get heat issues.
Going up a step usually involves purchasing CPU time on a mainframe, which means you suffer lack of control of the system. Data transfer issues also become prevalent, even across national academic networks.
A 32 core server sitting in the corner, if reasonably priced, would pique my interest. If I can transfer my code to it and have it all running smoothly within a day - ie., no fiddling with custom builds of BLAS, Lapack, OpenMPI etc under Ubuntu - then it might just be worth it.
I just hope to God they've not left the default reference BLAS in by default....
Right, I'm off to...
...PC World to get me one of these suckers!
I'm not convinced software development companies should be allowed to have access to amazingly fast computers. Imagine how quick and responsive Vista would have been if Microsoft's developers were forced to do all their work on 1GHz Atom processors with 512MB RAM.
1GHz? 512MB? Would have been even better if they were forced to use 200 MHz Pentiums with 64MB :-)
Does it run the new Monkey Island game at full res etc.?
"the CX1-LC runs on normal wall power, not the 240-volt power common with blade servers."
What is normal wall power, if not the 240-volt power common with... erm... absolutely every single mains-powered computer ever?
(OK, so it's 230V +/- 10% to make it a common supply across Europe, but it's still usually about 240V)
Or did the original Cray blades use 240V dc rails?