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SuSE girds up for grid action

Apr 02, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* SuSE Linux to be used in TeraGrid project

SuSE’s new Linux Enterprise Server 8.0 for the Itanium processor was recently chosen to be one of the cogs in the TeraGrid project. TeraGrid is a distributed grid computing initiative run by several government institutions and educational research facilities, including the NCSA, the San Diego Supercomputing Center and Argonne National Laboratories.

The SuSE software will run on servers for controlling cluster and file management tasks for nodes across the TeraGrid. Myrinet high-speed interconnect hardware from Myricom will be used to tie the SuSE boxes together. This allows for direct interconnects among the nodes, which some experts say can be faster for some computing tasks than other LAN connections, such as Gigabit Ethernet or Fiber Channel links. SuSE/Itanium servers are being installed with the help of IBM Global Services. More than 3,300 Itanium processors in total will be used in the TeraGrid, officials say.

The TeraGrid, which is a $53 million project, will enable researchers to tap 20 teraflops of processing power over a distributed network across a nationwide backplane of 40G bit/sec – four OC-192 SONET pipes tied together. Storage for the entire system will top around 600 terabytes. The distributed system will be 1,000 times faster than IBM’s storied Deep Blue supercomputer, officials say.

For those not building their own TeraGrid-scale network, the same SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8.0 software will be available this month for $750 from SuSE, or from partners such as IBM. A workstation version of the software will be released by the end of this month as well.