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[tlug] "Mine is bigger than yours"
- Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008 18:21:23 -0700
- From: "SL Baur" <email@example.com>
- Subject: [tlug] "Mine is bigger than yours"
(Seen on /. http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=973601&cid=25129479) Wow. And you gotta love the easy-to-use comment. "It's just Linux." I suppose the real question is, is XEmacs redisplay fast enough? -sb [Begin quoted comment] I write massively parallel scientific code that runs on these supercomputers for a living... and this is what I've been preaching all along. The thing about RoadRunner and others (such as Red Storm at Sandia) is that they are special pieces of hardware that run highly specialized operating systems. I can say from experience that these are an _enormous_ pain in the ass to code for... and reaching anything near the theoretical computing limit on these machines with real world engineering applications is essentially impossible... not too mention all of the extra time it costs you in just getting your application to compile on the machine and debug it... My "day-to-day" supercomputer is a 2048 processor machine made up of generic Intel cores all running a slightly modified version of Suse Linux. This is a great machine for development _and_ for execution. My users have no trouble using my software and the machine... because it's just Linux. When looking at a supercomputer I always think in terms of utility... not in terms of Flops. It's for this reason that I think the guys down at the Texas Advanced Computing Center got it right when they built Ranger ( http://www.tacc.utexas.edu/resources/hpcsystems/#constellation [utexas.edu] ). It's about a half a petaflop... but guess what? It runs Linux! And is actually made up of a bunch of Opteron cores... the machine itself is also a huge, awesome looking beast (I've been inside it... the 2 huge Infiniband switches are really something to see). I haven't used it myself (yet), but I have friends working at TACC and everyone really likes the machine a lot. It definitely strikes that chord between ultra-powerful and ultra-useful. Friedmud
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