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Moving HPC Closer to The Desktop

Aug 11, 2010, 21:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Douglas Eadline)

"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."

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