Madhav Kobal's Blog

This blog will be dedicated to Linux, Open Source and Technology news, affairs, how-tos and virtually EVERYTHING in these domains.

Linux Rulz: Top500 Says So

Posted by madhavkobal on 17/11/2009

Today’s release of the list of the top 500 supercomputers shows that well over 90% are running Linux.  Also, IBM’s Roadrunner has finally been dethroned; in a big way!

After three attempts, the Jaguar rules.

IBM’s Roadrunner system, still performing at over 1 petaflop (very slightly down from previous benchmarks after a reconfiguration) has been smashed into second place by the rejuvenated Cray XT5 Jaguar at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (these are people that simulate things that “go bang in the night!”).

Over the past couple of years, various reconfigurations of Jaguar had failed to defeat Roadrunner; so this time, they went for broke.  In the current Top500, to be formally announced at SC09 in Portland, Oregon tomorrow, the results show that Jaguar has achieved 1.76 PFlops, compared with Roadrunner’s 1.04 PFlops.

Jaguar achieves its throughput based on 224,162 AMD x86_64 Opteron Six Core CPUs running at 2,600 GHz while Roadrunner is based on 122,400 PowerXCell 8i processors at 3,200 GHz.  Both run Linux.

In fact it appears that all but 28 of the top 500 are running a form of Unix, almost all of those being Linux.

So locally, how many systems does Australia have in the Top500?  Just one, located at Animal Logic and ranked at 447.  In contrast, New Zealand has 8 entries, seven of which are located at Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital studios in Wellington; in fact Weta has six identical systems ranked at 193 – 197 in the list along with positions 274 and 449.  All of Weta’s systems are identical HP Cluster Platform 3000Bs, differing only in the number of processors.

Also of interest is the fact that just 2 systems commissioned in 2005 remain in the list; both are eServer Blue Gene machines ranked at 50 and 265.  Machines commissioned or recommissioned in 2009 total 359 – this is clearly a very active industry.  There are also another 8 2006 systems and 24 from 2007.

Other highlights include the new Chinese Tianhe-1 system in Tianjin based on a hybrid design of Intel Xeon processors with AMD GPUs as accelerators; each node consisting of a pair of each.

Interestingly, the Australian Government recently announced their new ANU-located supercomputer which, based on projected performance data would be ranked 25th on the current list.

Source : ITWire




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