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LinuxMall.com: It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's a Supercluster!

May 03, 2000, 15:50 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Greta Durr)

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"Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to scale 276 nodes in a single bound... the Supercluster known as JET is designer Greg Lindahl's latest effort, and at the rate it's going, it may be sending IBM's Los Lobos to the doghouse."

"JET was unveiled last week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Forecast System Laboratory (FSL) and High Performance Technologies Inc. (HPTi) at its Boulder, Colo. home. Developed for mission-critical weather prediction, JET will be processing about 4 Teraflops of data, or 4 trillion arithmetic computations per second when its final upgrade is in place. For now, Lindahl says that JET is blazing across Colorado's Front Range at a more moderate speed. "Four Teraflops [TF] is the eventual speed near the end of the contract. Right now the peak speed is 1/3 of a TF, and the highest speed observed on any real program was 197 Gigaflops on the Linpack linear algebra benchmark..."

"Lindahl has been working with HPTi since he left the University of Virginia's Legion project, where he built a 300-node Linux cluster named Centurion. "I'm actually a newcomer to Linux, although not to Open Source," Lindahl says. "In (Astronomy) graduate school, we had a cluster of Sun workstations, because that was much more cost-effective than `minicomputers.' We used a lot of Open Source software like GNU [GNU's Not UNIX] Emacs and TeX, a typesetting system that's good with equations. After I dropped out of grad school and went to Wall Street to work for an investment bank, I worked with a large cluster of Suns running Solaris, but we still used a large amount of Open Source software, since it was really handy to be able to fix problems. For example, we had SunOS source, but not Solaris source, and so things that were routinely fixed by us on SunOS never got fixed under Solaris."

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