"First, some equal time, after last weeks column on the new
Amazon Cluster EC2 offering, I received a note from Adaptive
Computing (previously Cluster Resources), best known for their Moab
and Torque packages, that announced support for EC2 Cluster
instances. It seems a cluster in the Cloud my not be to far off for
many people. Which brings me to my latest prognostication. I
propose there may be another type of split in the HPC world, but
first a little background on the first possible "split."
"In a previous column column, I suggested that with increased
core counts HPC programming models would diverge. This split is due
to the inability of many HPC applications to scale above 32 cores
and the ability of modern processors to put 48 cores in a single
SMP domain. I assumed that a thread based model (OpenMP) would be
adopted by many "small" applications and a distributed model based
on the current message passing (MPI) methodology would continue to
be used on clusters. I even set up a poll that asks How would you
use a 48 core PC (4P with 12 core Magny-Cours) next to your desk?.
Interestingly, 40% percent of the 99 respondents said they would
use this machine to run all their applications (parallel and
sequential) and 25% said they would use a combination of this
machine and a cluster to run their applications."