Institute of Cancer Research deploys an SGI Altix UV super

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The installations of SGI‘s latest NUMA beast, the x86 based Altix UV, are starting to trickle in. Launched back in November, the Altix UV finally took SGI’s scalable NUMA solution to a cheaper (and hopefully more profitable) x86 base, using Nehalem EX processors instead of Itaniums.

The Institute of Cancer Research have announced that they are the latest to deploy an Altix UV. Although the press release is short on specs of the machine, it looks like large Single System Image (SSI) machines are still in demand, despite the overwhelming dominance of clusters in HPC.

Altix UV will provide the ICR with a massively scalable shared memory system to process its growing data requirements, including hundreds of terabytes of data for biological networks, MRI imaging, mass-spectrometry, phenotyping, genetics and deep-sequencing information across thousands of CPUs.

SGI needed some lower cost NUMA SSI machines – some would argue since the disastrous migration away from MIPS – and the Nehalem base Altix UV has been a long time coming. Hopefully this will mark an upturn in SGI’s fortunes. The full press release can be viewed here.

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SGI launches global Channel Network Partner program

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News comes from SGI about the launch of their new Channel Network Partner program, a global program for ‘a limited set of specialized partners’. The program benefits are fairly standard tools for resellers:

To support the new program, the company announced the SGI Channel Network Portal, a single point of web access to a comprehensive set of value-add sales and marketing tools for program partners, including a quote configurator, promotions, demand generation, training modules and opportunity registration.

What’s more interesting is the hint that SGI will be moving to making custom solutions available only through selected partners (presumably with some special value adding secret sauce):

SGI partners serve customers across vertical segments, including government, energy, manufacturing, Internet and cloud, financial services, digital media, and research and education. The SGI Channel Network Program offers increased support to address these high-value markets and meet the ever-growing customer requirements for HPC and data center solutions. SGI partners have access to the entire portfolio of SGI products, including new channel-oriented solutions for which partners will be the primary route to market.

Emphasis in the last sentence is mine. What new HPC toys can we expect to see from this new route to market?

The full press release from SGI can be found here, and the new SGI Channel Network portal can be found here.

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University of Tasmania’s new SGI Altix ICE cluster for climate modelling

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SGI have announced that the Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing (TPAC) at the University of Tasmania’s (UTAS) supercomputing facility have just installed a chunky 64 node Altix ICE compute cluster.

‘Katabatic’ has a total of 512 processors and a terabyte of RAM, and will be used for Antartic and South Pacific climate modelling.

Thirty full-time TPAC users and more than 100 university researchers in the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC), the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS), the School of Chemistry, the School of Maths and Physics, and the Menzies Research Institute share access to Katabatic every day.

The Altix ICE cluster also boasts over 70TB of disk space, and over 500TB of mirrored tape storage. More on SGI‘s press release here.

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