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CNET: HP creates off-the-shelf supercomputer

Oct 04, 2001, 22:31 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Matthew Broersma)

[ Thanks to Bation for this link. ]

"How to build your own supercomputer: Take a few off-the-shelf, stripped-down PCs, add some network switches, a maze of Ethernet cabling and some homegrown Linux software, and you'll be well on your way.

Hewlett-Packard, together with a national laboratory in France, tried this recipe out and, to the great surprise of many scientists, it worked.

What they ended up with is the "I-Cluster," a Mandrake Linux-powered cluster of 225 PCs that has benchmarked its way into the list of the top 500 most powerful computers in the world.

At a technical session last summer, scientists from HP's labs in Grenoble, France, started talking to experts at the local INRIA Rhone-Alps (France's National Institute for Research in Computer Science) about the possibility of doing "something a little unusual." The idea was to build a supercomputer out of standard hardware components like those that might be found in the typical big business."

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