Red Hat just announced its role in bringing a top scientific supercomputer into service in the U.S. Named \u201cSummit\u201d and housed at the Department of Energy\u2019s OAK Ridge National Labs, this system with its 4,608 IBM compute servers is running \u2014 you guessed it \u2014 Red Hat Enterprise Linux.\nThe Summit collaborators\nWith IBM providing its POWER9 processors, Nvidia contributing its Volta V100 GPUs, Mellanox bringing its Infiniband into play, and Red Hat supplying Red Hat Enterprise OS, the level of inter-vendor collaboration has reached something of an all-time high and an amazing new supercomputer is now ready for business.\nSupercomputer designs in the past have been relatively closed, usually involving a single vendor. This multi-year multi-vendor collaboration is setting a significant milestone and providing some other welcome benefits as well \u2014 forcing an openness that brings flexibility to the system\u2019s design and relying on a building block architecture that supports a wide range of applications and opportunities for enhancement as well as machine learning.\n\nWhy Red Hat?\nIf you knew that the top 10 fastest supercomputers in the world today all run a variant of Linux, Red Hat\u2019s role in Summit might not be such a surprise. But don\u2019t stop there. The benefit to users of having a familiar OS (many national labs and research centers run Red Hat Enterprise Linux on their systems) makes Summit approachable in a way that older supercomputers have generally not been.\nThe requirements for flexibility and scalability required for IT operations are considerably more important when it comes to supercomputing with its highly specialized components. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides stability, support, and its open nature.\nThe nature of supercomputing\nSupercomputing generally entails lots of data and lots of calculations. While I\u2019ve never worked with supercomputers, my brief time in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Johns Hopkins left me with a feel for the enormity off tasks like looking for ways to map the cosmos and studying the nature of subatomic particles. From astrophysics to biology, supercomputers can help to derive answers from dizzying amounts of data, and Summit appears to offer the kind of compute power that will be needed for the world\u2019s most complex problems.\nThe architecture of Summit\nWith 4,608 nodes and running at approximately 200 petaflops (10**15 floating point operations per second), Summit is a huge and fairly intimidating system to look at or contemplate. At the same time, its accessibility through a familiar operating system makes it both approachable and flexible.\nWhat to expect\nSummit will be offering unprecedented access to technology capable of offering solutions to some of the world\u2019s most pressing problems. Its next-generation workloads may well change the way research is done today \u2014 not just broadening scientific knowledge, but providing real-world benefits. Maybe it will help us come to grips with aspects of climate change that are hard to characterize, maybe it will help us find cures for certain types of cancer, and maybe it will point to answers about mankind\u2019s place in the universe.\nMore information about Summit and Red Hat\nTo learn more about this incredible technological accomplishment, check out the press release on the Red Hat blog.