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Alta Technology Introduces Modular Rack Mountable Linux Cluster Systems

NEWS
RELEASE
Contact: Clark Roundy
Director, Marketing and Sales
Alta Technology Corporation
801-562-1010 ext. 23
[email protected]
www.altatech.com

Alta Technology Introduces Modular Rack Mountable
Linux Cluster Systems

Scalable M-Cluster[tm] Systems Implement
Alpha and Pentium II Microprocessor Technology

Sandy, Utah – January 5, 1999 – Alta Technology Corporation, a
leading provider of high performance computing solutions, today
announced the availability the M-Cluster[tm], a compact
and fully modular Linux-based clustered computing system.

Targeted for use in high performance and complex data
processing/analysis applications, the M-Cluster uses rack mountable
single board computer (SBC) and peripheral modules. This allows for
an easy to maintain design that is also extremely durable and
significantly more compact than other available clustering options.
Systems are scalable from one to 1000’s of processing nodes.

“M-Cluster systems are a unique and powerful alternative to
current clustered system designs,” said Glen Lowry, President and
CEO of Alta Technology. “They are a sophisticated, high density
option to conventional clustered technology.”

Although unique in design and packaging, the M-Cluster uses
standard PCI silicon to enable the use of commercially available
software and development tools. M-Clusters are fully integrated
with the Linux operating system-which implements Parallel Virtual
Machine (PVM) and Message Passing Interface (MPI)
technology-facilitating the creation of a scalable, high
performance architecture capable of very efficient parallel
processing. Parallel processing refers to the concept of
speeding-up the execution of a program by dividing the program into
multiple fragments that can execute simultaneously, each on its own
processor.

High level parallel languages-like High Performance Fortran
(HPF)-are used to program many parallel compute applications.

Lowry continues, “Applications such as scientific computing,
simulation, research, geometric modeling, numerical analysis, or
virtually any application requiring large capacity computing
resources can benefit from M-Cluster technology.”

Depending on the application, the design of the network can be
very important to the performance of a clustered computer system.
The M-Cluster system implements Fast Ethernet as the standard form
of connectivity. For applications in which networking tends to be
the system bottleneck, M-Cluster connectivity options include
Alta’s Gigabit Ethernet (PMC/GNIC2[tm]) and Myrinet from Myricom
Inc.

M-Cluster systems implement both 64-bit Alpha and 32-bit Pentium
II processor technology. The Alpha, from Compaq, is currently
available in M-Cluster systems with clock speeds of up to 500 MHz.
Pentium II processor versions will be available by 2nd
quarter of 1999.

Each M-Cluster compute node comes complete with up to 1024 MB of
memory, a 4 GB EIDE hard disk drive, and 10/100 Ethernet
connectivity. A unique feature of the M-Cluster is the Alta Cluster
Environment (ACE), which helps maximize system reliability and
minimize downtime. ACE provides features such as power sequencing,
temperature monitoring of individual processors, remote reset of
nodes, disk cloning, and various other system management
resources.

M-Cluster systems are available now with prices starting well
under $20,000.

Founded in 1989 to develop specialized and custom board-level
products, Alta Technology Corporation has evolved into a leading
supplier of off the shelf parallel and embedded real-time
computation products and services. Customer applications range from
high-speed telecommunications and networking to data acquisition,
signal/image processing and machine control. Alta specializes in
high performance computing with a broad product portfolio that
includes Single Board Computers, 3D Graphics cards, Gigabit
Ethernet adapters, and Scalable Systems. In addition to M-Cluster
systems, products from Alta include AltaCluster systems, CompactPCI
board-level products, PCI peripheral boards, and PCI Mezzanine
Cards (PMC).

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M-Cluster is a trademark of Alta Technology
Corporation. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other
product names are either trademarks or registered trademarks of
their respective holders.