A Decade and a Half of the TOP500

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Back in 1993, Prof. Hans Werner Meuer and Erich Strohmaier launched the TOP500 project as a way for the industry to track the most powerful computers in the world. The resulting list, which is released twice a year, ranks the top computers based on the well-known Linpack benchmark. To most people, those 500 systems represent the definitive list for the absolute fastest computers in the world. Because of that, getting a spot on the TOP500 is eagerly sought by system vendors, component makers, and science/research organizations.

But the TOP500 project encompasses something more valuable than just bragging rights. The 30 lists that have been compiled since June 1993 represent a history of the supercomputing industry from the perspective of the machines themselves. Recently Prof. Meuer composed a retrospective of the 15-year record of the TOP500, in which he reviewed the project’s history (and prehistory), the rationale for the rankings, the limitations of Linpack and the list, the evolution of supercomputing technologies, and how the list can be used to forecast the capabilities of future machines.

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SGI Unveils Multi-Vendor Support, Outsourcing Services Via New Support Solutions Plus Program

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SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — SGI today announced a new global program that provides multi-vendor support (MVS), world-class technical expertise, and logistical services to existing and new customers. The Support Solutions Plus program also offers OEMs, integrators and other partners with limited, or no, support infrastructure the ability to leverage SGI’s expertise to provide services on their behalf.

Under its Support Solutions Plus program, SGI provides a single, centralized contact for technical support, secured site management, and parts logistics requirements. Through the program, SGI provides support for many other vendors’ products — including platforms from IBM, HP, Sun, Solid Data Systems, Barco and others — while keeping track of service agreements, warranties, escalation procedures and service level commitments that can make data center administration complicated and time-consuming.

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Malaysia Genome Institute Selects SGI Technology

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SGI Altix, Altix XE cluster and SGI InfiniteStorage combination delivers cohesive NAS/SAN workflow environment for all stages of research

SUNNYVALE, Calif., and LORNE, Australia, 29th Annual Lorne Genome Conference, Feb. 20 — To create an optimal workflow that encompasses the diverse computing requirements of bioinformatics research, the Malaysia Genomics Institute (MGI) selected SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) to design a unique SGI hybrid computing solution. Because bioinformatics research uses a variety of software at various stages in the workflow, the combined use of shared-memory systems and clusters can provide an optimal environment for the efficient use of each application. MGI looked to SGI to design a seamless, cohesive workflow for the entire process that would integrate into the existing infrastructure. SGI delivered a hybrid computing solution that consists of the new SGI BioCluster as well as an SGI Altix shared memory server and an SGI InfiniteStorage CXFS SAN shared file system, which makes the entire workflow transparent to the user regardless of software employed or stage of the process at which scientists are performing.

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What Can Linux Networx’s Assets Do for SGI?

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SGI announced this afternoon that it has purchased the “software, patents, technology and expertise” of Linux Networx Inc. (LNXI) through an all-stock transaction. Although there has been no official statement saying so, LNXI is believed to have shut it doors. However, some of LNXI’s technology, particularly the Clusterworx Advanced software suite, appears to have a new lease on life.

This transaction returns both companies to center stage for inspection. SGI struggled famously for 10 years and emerged from bankruptcy vowing to reclaim its prior HPC status, and indeed, with former LNXI CEO Bo Ewald in charge, SGI is showing signs of improvement. LNXI was the poster child of the Linux cluster revolution, but the company struggled to retain valuable differentiation once larger vendors arrived and increased competition.

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New SAN-Based SGI Solution Allows Seamless Data Migration to Any Storage Device

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SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb 12, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) today unveiled the SGI(R: 58.72, -0.03, -0.05%) Virtualized Storage Migration Solution, which gives enterprises the freedom to migrate their data to any standards-based storage environment.

Unlike traditional data migration solutions, which may keep customers locked into specific vendor platforms, the Virtualized Storage Migration Solution allows enterprises to choose the storage device that best suits their needs — an advantage that can lead to better data utilization and significantly lower ownership costs. The new SGI solution also allows enterprises to migrate data without disrupting enterprise applications or operations.

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