Supercomputing goes commercial in China

Just having come back from the HPC China Conference in Beijing two weeks ago where TianHe 1A was announced, I am now packing for SC’10 in New Orleans.

For those of you unfamiliar with TianHe 1A, it is currently the world’s fastest supercomputer capable of computing 2.507 petaflops, or 2,507 trillion calculations per second. TianHe 1A, together with Nebulae (the word’s second fastest supercomputer according to the July 2010 TOP500) will be hosted in government funded supercomputing centers in China. However, unlike many other countries where the top systems are almost exclusively running code for research, supercomputing centers in China will be running like commercial companies to sell computing capacity to industries and research firms. Their model center, the Shanghai Supercomputing Center (#24 on July 2010 TOP500) has about 300 customers and keeps full capacity operations 24x7. As the result, those big systems will run more commercial code than the systems in national labs. Such commercialized operations will demand high software quality and strong local support.

The recently launched Platform HPC matches needs like these very well. With a complete management solution with a leading MPI implementation, Platform HPC brings performance and productivity to production environments. It provides all the necessary components to manage large systems including user web portal, application integrations, resource allocation and job scheduling, cluster management and monitoring, and job usage accounting. Most importantly, it is supported by a single vendor to dramatically decrease troubleshooting time.

I’m looking forward to seeing how such HPC cloud model on top systems shakes the future of HPC community.


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