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back to article Cray beats out SGI at German HPC consortium

The Höchstleistungsrechnen is going to have a different brand name and architecture on it at the Norddeutschem Verbund für Hoch- und Höchstleistungsrechnen (HLRN) supercomputing alliance in Northern Germany, now that Cray has beat out SGI for a big bad box that will have a peak theoretical performance in excess of 2 petaflops. …

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Split supercomputer?

I find the idea of the split supercomputer interesting. Although this seems silly at first glance, I think it is actually sensible. The much lower bandwidth between the two halves* would absoultely cripple certain workloads (a weather model, for instance, traditionally each node would end up walking through a pretty large portion of system memory as it calculated, meaning a shared memory supercomputer is a must.) But, the reality is this type of system doesn't tend to run one giant workload anyway, the tendency is to have a number of jobs running on it at any given time, and also a lot of jobs would not walk through system memory the way a weather model would. Either one of these, this lets each university have a local resource with (presumably) automatic use of excess on the other university's system, which is great.

*I don't know what the speed will be, but certainly below the 56GB/sec infiniband local to each half!

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Re: Split supercomputer?

The split supercomputer is especially interesting, because it makes twice as many constituencies happy. I don't think a big search for hidden performance / cost advantages would be useful.

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hmmm.... a couple of those racks would sit nicely next to my Onyx, Octane, O2 and Indigo............

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