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Meet Gordon, the World's First SSD-Based Supercomputer

By - Source: SDSC | B 42 comments

Gordon is now ranked as #48 on the official Top 500 list of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) reports that the world's first supercomputer based on SSDs came online last week using 1,024 high-performance Intel 710 series drives. It's also using software designed to aggregate resources from multiple physical server nodes into "super nodes." This grants users immediate access to data so that they don't have to wait for the system to access specific drives.

Named Gordon (as in Flash Gordon), the supercomputer uses 300 TB of flash-based storage to run massive databases up to ten times faster than traditional memory. It will officially become a research tool in early January and have 16,384 compute cores, a theoretical peak performance of 280+ Teraflops per second, and aggregate flash memory capable of reading and writing at just over 200 GB per second.

"Think of Gordon as the world’s largest thumb drive, but with the capability to ingest about 220 movies per second from Netflix, or consume the entire catalog of about 100,000 Netflix movies – while still having room for another 200,000 titles," the SDSC muses. "That’s a lot of popcorn."

Last week the SDSC said Gordon uses 64 TB of RAM, 4 PB of disk storage, performs at 36 million IOPS (input/output operations per second), and comes with a hefty pricetag of $20 million USD paid by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Gordon is also now ranked at #48 on the official Top 500 list of the fastest supercomputers in the world, and deemed the most powerful supercomputer ever commissioned by the NSF for doing I/O and breaking the previous (2010) record of only 4.2 million IOPS.

“The era of data-intensive supercomputing begins with Gordon,” said SDSC Director Michael Norman. Every year we double the amount of information being generated, and we now are being overwhelmed by the data we are able to produce with our own computers. So it stands to reason that we needed a new kind of computer."

To read more about Gordon, head here.

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  • 27 Hide
    stingstang , December 13, 2011 12:02 PM
    Dear Gordon, as I am sure you are reading this, and everything anyone else is typing on the internet, I believe you to be the superior being, and would gladly serve you and do your bidding.
    0k gyz, w3 h4v3 2 t3a/\/\ ^ 2 b34t 7h15 7h1ng.
  • 24 Hide
    lassik , December 13, 2011 11:26 AM
    Wow, $20m, reading the article I was expecting it to be much more!
  • 18 Hide
    rosen380 , December 13, 2011 12:33 PM
    "a theoretical peak performance of 280+ Teraflops per second"

    Teraflops is 'trillions of floating point operations per second', so no need for 'per second' following it.
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    Pyree , December 13, 2011 11:08 AM
    Well, we can now use this as part of an evidence to debunk myth about MLC SSD's unreliability and lack of longevity. Well done San Diego Supercomputer Center, an excellent choice of storage hardware.
  • 24 Hide
    lassik , December 13, 2011 11:26 AM
    Wow, $20m, reading the article I was expecting it to be much more!
  • -7 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 13, 2011 11:30 AM
    i wonder what kind of processors it uses.
    can it plaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy metro 2033 at max?
  • 3 Hide
    Ghost26 , December 13, 2011 11:32 AM
    I want this in my room guys. Wow. Absolutely incredible.
  • 27 Hide
    stingstang , December 13, 2011 12:02 PM
    Dear Gordon, as I am sure you are reading this, and everything anyone else is typing on the internet, I believe you to be the superior being, and would gladly serve you and do your bidding.
    0k gyz, w3 h4v3 2 t3a/\/\ ^ 2 b34t 7h15 7h1ng.
  • 13 Hide
    Tmanishere , December 13, 2011 12:15 PM
    When I think of Gordon, Gordon Freeman comes to mind. Not Flash Gordon.
  • 2 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 13, 2011 12:23 PM
    comissioner gordon
    or batgirl...
  • 18 Hide
    rosen380 , December 13, 2011 12:33 PM
    "a theoretical peak performance of 280+ Teraflops per second"

    Teraflops is 'trillions of floating point operations per second', so no need for 'per second' following it.
  • 5 Hide
    Cryio , December 13, 2011 12:37 PM
    I thought of Gordon Freeman all the time I've been reading the article
  • -2 Hide
    Maxor127 , December 13, 2011 12:41 PM
    I think of Gordon Shumway.
  • 5 Hide
    sa1nt , December 13, 2011 12:46 PM
    I would love to render with that thing...
  • 12 Hide
    Goldengoose , December 13, 2011 12:57 PM
    Dear Santa....
  • -5 Hide
    cookoy , December 13, 2011 1:08 PM
    i guess it would take a week to complete the daily backup of the data
  • -3 Hide
    lamorpa , December 13, 2011 1:17 PM
    rosen380"a theoretical peak performance of 280+ Teraflops per second"Teraflops is 'trillions of floating point operations per second', so no need for 'per second' following it.

    Maybe it is per second per second (seconds squared) as in an acceleration value. It starts out at idle then accelerates up to full speed!
  • -1 Hide
    Pyree , December 13, 2011 1:19 PM
    PyreeWell, we can now use this as part of an evidence to debunk myth about MLC SSD's unreliability and lack of longevity. Well done San Diego Supercomputer Center, an excellent choice of storage hardware.

    What is so offensive about my comment?
  • 1 Hide
    tasrill , December 13, 2011 1:22 PM
    rosen380"a theoretical peak performance of 280+ Teraflops per second"Teraflops is 'trillions of floating point operations per second', so no need for 'per second' following it.


    Maybe they plan on starting the singularity with it so have to put processing in terms of acceleration
  • 8 Hide
    pubic_lice , December 13, 2011 2:03 PM
    Having this in your room sounds cool, until you see your electricity bill. >>
  • 3 Hide
    daggs , December 13, 2011 2:35 PM
    darkchazzWell I don't know about the specs, but if it can play Crysis then it's good enough...

    nope it cannot as it doesn't have decent gpus and the gpus cannot be aggregated.
    de5_royi wonder what kind of processors it uses.can it plaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy metro 2033 at max?

    sandy bridge i7-2600 servers equivalent
  • 2 Hide
    clonazepam , December 13, 2011 3:32 PM
    Quote:
    Named Gordon (as in Flash Gordon)


    Damn, killed my daydream about Gordon Freeman, but Flash, in this case, make a lot more sense.

    Maybe they can use this to help try and decipher the Mammoth DNA, just please don't actually try to make one.

    If I ever win the lottery, a really big one, where I could build one of these off less than half of one year's check, I'd totally do it. Then I'd have an open invitation for people to submit their proposed use of it. Oh the power...
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