Nine Reasons Linux Rules the Supercomputing Space

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Jul 23, 2014 3:44 AM EDT
eWEEK; By Darryl K. Taft
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The latest TOP500 List of the fastest supercomputers in the world helped many in the technology community understand what open-source aficionados have known for years: Linux has quickly become the operating system of choice in the high-performance computing (HPC) market, growing from relative obscurity 15 years ago to powering 97 percent of the fastest computers in the world. But its appeal is found in more than cost or choice. Here are a few of the main reasons Linux has grown to own the lion's share of the fastest supercomputers in the world. Although the United States remains the top country in terms of overall systems, with 233, this is down from 265 on the November 2013 list. The number of Chinese systems on the list rose from 63 to 76, giving the Asian nation nearly as many supercomputers as the United Kingdom, with 30; France, with 27; and Germany, with 23—combined. Japan also increased its showing, up to 30 from 28 on the previous list. HP has the lead in systems and now has 182 systems (36 percent), compared to IBM, with 176 systems (35 percent). HP had 196 systems (39 percent) six months ago, and IBM had 164 systems (33 percent) six months ago. In the system category, Cray remains third with 10 percent (50 systems).

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