Linux Networx Announces Largest Supercomputing Order in the Company's History

Posted by tadelste on Feb 13, 2006 7:45 AM EDT
PR Newswire; By Press release
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DoD Procurement Includes Two Linux Supercomputing Systems Expected to Be Among the Top Twenty Most Powerful Supercomputers in the World

SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Linux Networx, the Linux Supercomputing Company, announced today that the Department of Defense (DoD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), has placed the largest single order for Linux Supercomputers in the company's history. The DoD purchased five supercomputers from Linux Networx including three Advanced Technology Clusters (ATC's) and one LS-1 for the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Major Shared Resource Center (MSRC), and an additional LS-1 for Dugway Proving Ground. The procurement increases ARL MSRC's computing capability to over 80 trillion floating-point operations (TFLOPS), making it one of the largest computing centers in the DoD. In addition, the procurement enhances ARL MSRC's visualization capabilities. Linux Networx was selected due to its recognized expertise in designing, building and delivering next generation Linux supercomputers that leverage the price/performance value of open software and hardware platforms.

The Linux Supercomputers are part of the Technology Insertion 2006 (TI-06) program, an initiative to modernize the Department of Defense high performance computing (HPC) capabilities. The HPCMP provides the supercomputer services, high-speed network communications, and computational science expertise that enable the U.S. Defense laboratories, such as ARL, to conduct a wide range of focused research, development, and test activities. Linux Networx is a key partner in the drive to put advanced technology in the hands of U.S. armed forces more quickly, less expensively, and with greater certainty of success.

"We are honored to partner with the DoD on this key technology project," said Robert (Bo) H. Ewald, CEO of Linux Networx. "This procurement features our Linux Supercomputers powering a broad set of applications to solve a number of complex challenges -- leveraging a variety of visualization capabilities within the DoD and within the defense community special programs. This wide ranging application of Linux Networx supercomputing technology confirms our position as the leading Linux supercomputing company in the market today."

"We've observed tremendous scalability for some of our applications on our current commodity clusters," said Charles J. Nietubicz, director of the ARL MSRC and director of the High Performance Computing Division in the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate (CISD). "The TI-06 increase in computing capability will give DoD scientists and engineers the additional ability to solve more complex, three-dimensional, time-dependent, physics-based problems in a timeframe that can provide the data necessary to assist with weapon development and procurement decisions." ATC Supercomputers

ATCs are especially well suited for organizations that wish to pioneer new technologies, new programming models or new levels of supercomputing scale. Linux Networx works with customers and technology partners to identify and integrate emerging and proven technologies into a production-ready system.

The three Linux Networx ATC's will be installed at the ARL MSRC this summer. The most powerful of the new systems is expected to be ranked in the top twenty of the world's most powerful computer systems. It is a 1122-compute node supercomputer with 4488 mid-voltage 3.2 GHz Intel Dempsey cores for computation. This system will increase the ARL MSRC's computational capability by more than 28.7 TFLOPs. The system will also have 112 3.46 GHz cores (28 nodes) for login, storage, and administration with 9.4 TB of memory and 260 TB (raw) of disk. All nodes will communicate via a 4X DDR (20 Gbps) Infiniband network with 10 GigE uplink capability. The 3.2 GHz mid voltage chips were selected for the compute nodes due to their thermal efficiency.

A second system is also expected to be ranked in the top twenty of world's most powerful computer systems. An 842-compute node Advanced Technology Cluster, it will be comprised of 3368 mid voltage 3.2 GHz Intel Dempsey cores for computation. The system will increase the ARL MSRC's computational capability by more than 21.5 TFLOPS. The system will also have 96 3.46 GHz cores (24 nodes) for login, storage, and administration and will have 7.1 TB of memory and 196 TB (raw) of disk. All nodes will communicate via a 4X DDR Infiniband network with 10 GigE uplink capability.

Tom Kendall, Chief Engineer of the ARL MSRC, said: "The combination of dual core processors with dual memory busses, DDR 4X Infiniband and fully buffered memory into a power optimized system will provide DoD researchers with an unprecedented level of high performance computing capability and capacity."

The third system is a 68 core test and development system with 7 TB of disks to be delivered in advance of the other two systems. The Linux Networx and ARL MSRC teams will work closely utilizing this machine to integrate the DoD software environment.

"Interconnects and file systems are critical to what we do, the availability of a smaller advanced development system will ensure our users a positive first experience when they get onto the larger production machines," said Tom Kendall. LS-1 Supersystems

LS-1 Supersystems blend application-optimized performance with a standardized systems experience to deliver ultimate supercomputing value, thereby delivering significantly reduced total cost of operations (TCO). LS-1 Supersystems arrive ready for production-at-power-up, pre-tuned and optimized to match the specific needs of the customer application environment -- dramatically reducing initial operations cost while accelerating time to productivity. As a result, customers can immediately focus on delivering computational solutions to their computational research and design challenges -- not on supercomputing cluster setup and operations.

The first LS-1 system will also be deployed at the ARL MSRC this summer. A 64 node scientific visualization supercomputing cluster, the LS features dual Nvidia Quadro FX 4500 cards per node and an Infiniband network. This will be the first scientific visualization supercomputer in the HPCMP.

The visualization supercomputing cluster will allow for interactive visualization of enormous datasets. By performing both the visualization algorithms and rendering in parallel, a scalable solution for analyzing calculations consisting of billions of computational cells will be achieved.

"The complexity and fidelity of current production DoD calculations consume terabytes of memory and tens of CPU years for a single simulation," said Jerry Clarke, Scientific Visualization Team Leader. "When you're dealing with that much data, every aspect of visualization must be parallel. This system will allow for the interactive analysis of important calculations currently impossible on available resources."

Details of the LS-1 system for the Dugway Proving Ground will be released later this year. About Linux Networx

Linux Networx, The Linux Supercomputing Company, delivers Linux Supersystems that combine the price/performance advantage of Linux clusters with real-world supercomputing expertise and technology innovation. The company has delivered over 450 supercomputing clusters to more than 165 supercomputing customers around the world. In 2005 the company achieved record orders, finishing the year with three consecutive quarters of record growth. The company's customer list represents a "who's who" of supercomputing users, including Los Alamos National Laboratories, Sandia National Laboratories, Boeing, BMW, Daimler Chrysler, Audi, Caterpillar, John Deere, Total, Schlumberger and Shell Oil in the Oil and Gas industry. For more information about Linux Networx, visit About the Army Research Laboratory Major Shared Resource Center (ARL MSRC):

The ARL MSRC is one of four DoD Major Shared Source Centers serving the Defense community. Created in 1996 under the High Performance Computing Modernization Program, the ARL MSRC is one of the world's most powerful computing sites. The ARL MSRC delivers the latest in computational tools and innovative technologies. The Center's full spectrum of computational capabilities help DoD scientists and engineers develop, test, and field weapon systems faster and more efficiently -- shortening the entire acquisition process from research to production. For more information about the ARL MSRC, visit

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