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Editor’s Pick: Appro Xtreme-X1 Supercomputer Is Cluster Ready

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

Back in April, I said about the Appro Xtreme-X2 Supercomputer that Appro International "is out to make clusters reliable, easier to manage, and more efficient. That is, Appro wants to make clusters operate like you know they should." They keep proving me right. This time it is with the Appro Xtreme-X1 Supercomputer.

But first … Xtreme-X defines a series of rack-mountable supercomputers engineered to create clusters that you can scale up to extreme capacities for handling those compute-intensive simulation, visualization, and data-crunching jobs that you people in industries and research disciplines like aerospace and automotive, defense, meteorology, petroleum exploration and processing, seismology, and even financial modeling, are into. A single 44U rack offers redundant 40-gigabit per second InfiniBand interconnects, up to 6 teraflops of storage, 512 cores, 4TB of memory, and software management tools — networking, servers, hosting, scheduling, and even reliability, availability, and serviceability — that provide full remote access so that you can untether your concerns from the mothership and go home at night in peace.

Another cool characteristic of the Xtreme-X series is its cooling configuration engineering: It’s designed to maximize cooling efficiency while minimizing power consumption and gobbling up less data center floor space than you might expect. For one, three independently controlled cooling fans per node direct hot air out of the perforated-front maintenance access panel. Two, this design means that you can mount racks back-to-back to take advantage of the under-floor cooling common in most data centers. So, not only does this deliver the chilled air to the equipment directly, it eliminates the need for aisles between the racks. The net effect of all this is that you need about 30 percent less floor space to run a cluster that’s as stingy a power consumer as these things can be.

So what’s the difference between the Xtreme-X1 and the Xtreme-X2 and why is the Xtreme-X1 the Pick of the Week? The difference is that the X2 supports Opteron processors while Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors power the Xtreme-X1 Supercomputer and that the Appro Xtreme-X1 recently received Intel Cluster Ready certification. That means an Appro Xtreme-X1 cluster operates the way clusters are supposed to operate.

Intel Cluster Ready technology makes deploying, expanding, using, and managing a cluster simpler. It makes running high-performance, off-the-shelf applications simpler. When you combine the value-add and quality assurance of Intel Cluster Ready technology with Appro’s powerful, efficient hardware, you get high-performance cluster computing that’s reliable and robust from the get-go. Not only does that mean that your goal of making cluster computing easy to use and maintain is right there in front of you, but your goal of maximizing your organization’s productivity is right there for you to grasp as well.

You can learn a whole lot more about the Appro Xtreme-X1 Supercomputer from today’s Pick of the Week write-up. Check out the video link to learn about Appro’s experiences building a 40Gbps InfiniBand supercomputer and download the white paper to learn more about what the Appro Xtreme-X1 cluster computer can mean for you.

Thanks, pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.