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Supernode Expands up to 128 Cores, 2TB RAM

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 26 comments

The bullx supernodes are designed for engineering calculations, physics simulation, and more.

Last week French supercomputing specialist Bull announced that it extended and updated its bullx family of supercomputers with the launch of its new bullx supernodes (S-Series) line. According to the company, these four-socket SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) server nodes can be expanded to support up to 128 cores (8, 12 or 16 processors) and 2TB of RAM.

Designed in cooperation with the French Atomic Energy Authority, the processing beasts capitalize on the latest generation of Intel Xeon 7500 CPUs (Nehalem-EX), and are intended to be used as part of a larger supercomputing cluster--just think of each supernode as part of a multi-unit rack. "Using these processors, Bull has designed an extendable SMP server capable of meeting the needs of even the most memory-hungry applications," the company said.

When available, Bull will offer two versions in its new S-Series: the ultra-compact high-end bullx S6010 compute node, and the bullx S6030 service node. The S6010, seen in the image to the right, features L-shaped 1.5U drawers--one upside-down on top of the other--to form a 3U drawer that can house a 8 or 16-processor configuration. Bull's other supernode, the S6030 model, provides "advanced connectivity functions, a redundant power supply and extended storage options," making them suitable to serve as management or I/O nodes.

In addition to the overall horsepower, the new S-Series is environmentally friendly, using an ultra-capacitor module to improve the efficiency of the electrical power supply by 10 to 15-percent. The supernodes also use a cooling door that consumes 75-percent less energy than standard air-conditioning, a processor control system that optimizes energy consumption, and an infrastructure design that optimizes the Flops/m² ratio.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    lutel , April 7, 2010 7:01 PM
    but will it blend ?
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    Simple11 , April 7, 2010 5:47 PM
    So how good is the reg on these servers? I'm in the market for some CS servers :p 
  • 8 Hide
    pbrigido , April 7, 2010 5:51 PM

    ...not that I would be able to afford it anyways.
  • Display all 26 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    LATTEH , April 7, 2010 5:56 PM
    THats a lot of ram O_O

    What program would be able to use all of it?
  • -3 Hide
    Ehsan w , April 7, 2010 5:57 PM
    damn 2 Terabytes of ram....
    Hmmmm Ram....
  • 0 Hide
    frozenlead , April 7, 2010 6:02 PM
    We ate 128GB of memory doing a CFD sim the other day...and I thought that was a lot..
  • 4 Hide
    itadakimasu , April 7, 2010 6:05 PM
    128 cores... 2TB of ram... But does it run crysis?
  • 0 Hide
    WheelsOfConfusion , April 7, 2010 6:23 PM
    Link is dead right now.

    What exactly does the supercap do to make the power supply more efficient? Just smooth out spikes and dips? Supply the high startup current to get the fans running?
  • 2 Hide
    kelfen , April 7, 2010 6:29 PM
    you could load your OS and all applications into ram making it so speedy
  • 5 Hide
    balister , April 7, 2010 6:54 PM
    THats a lot of ram O_O

    What program would be able to use all of it?

    Usually, when dealing with physical processes, like what happens with a nuclear weapon, you'd use what's known as Monte Carlo codes. Monte Carlo codes model highly random sitations (thus the name Monte Carlo cause you're rolling a die to see what happens effectively) like neutron scatter/absorbtion through a medium (in this case a neutron through say Uranium or Lithium Hydride). In essence, it's a way to test how powerful a nuclear weapon can be without actually setting it off (or even to look at how air travels over a foil like that of a wing). Because you are modelling such a complex system, imagine having to follow trillions of particles over a very short period of time (like nanoseconds in the case of a nuclear weapon), the programs can get quite involved. So when you're getting to situations that in depth, it takes a lot computing power.
  • 0 Hide
    darraghcoy , April 7, 2010 7:00 PM
    One day this will be standard desktop stuff- save the Xeon and multiple-sockets. By then crapware and OS bloat will also have reached epic proportions so we won't notice the difference anyway : )
  • 12 Hide
    lutel , April 7, 2010 7:01 PM
    but will it blend ?
  • 1 Hide
    balister , April 7, 2010 7:16 PM
    lutelbut will it blend ?

    It'll do more then blend. "Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light."
  • 1 Hide
    drowned , April 7, 2010 7:17 PM
    Yes, there are certain processes that can and do use that much ram.: anything that involves analyzing an EXTREME amount of data. Take the 10 GB of data (relatively small because all the detectors spit out terabytes of data per second), there's 60,000 events containing hundreds of particles with each particle having hundreds of parameters (momentum, energy, etc). Whenever I run some analysis on the data it needs to load up all 60,000 events...and I promptly max out use the 3 GB of ram available to me. In case anyone is wondering, even a relatively simple analysis requires about an hour-hour.half to run over that many events. It's not so much cpu intensive as it is memory and hard drive intensive.

    In terms of engineering I imagine simulating a building collapsing or something would require a lot of RAM as well.
  • 0 Hide
    kevikom , April 7, 2010 8:05 PM
    Big deal. If you get an HP blade chassis using the 2x220 Blades( 2 nodes per blade each with 2 6 core processors) that have 5670 processors you can get 384 cores and 3TB of memory inside of 10U of space connected with infiniband.

    And yes I have seen them sold to places with a lot of funding that like to smash particles together and se what happens
  • 0 Hide
    jonnyboyC , April 7, 2010 8:23 PM
    that's pretty crazy you put up windows 7 and superfetch proceed to place your entire hard drive on cached standby
  • -1 Hide
    lauxenburg , April 7, 2010 8:34 PM
    The RAM itself probably costs more than my car.
  • 3 Hide
    Trialsking , April 7, 2010 10:27 PM
    itadakimasu128 cores... 2TB of ram... But does it run crysis?

    Now your dual 5970's are the bottleneck!
  • 1 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , April 7, 2010 11:03 PM
    Now THIS is the kind of stuff I always love seeing at toms. Very interesting indeed, it'd be nice to see what it's used for.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 7, 2010 11:49 PM
    Man, that's more RAM than my entire array of hard drives put together!
  • 1 Hide
    Impulse Fire911 , April 8, 2010 1:59 AM
    wow, to cool that thing you wouldnt need liquid nitrogen, you would need liquid jesus
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