Supercomputing Center Sees 46 Percent Performance Gain With Cray CX1 Supercomputer Running Windows HPC Server 2008

June 24th, 2009 12:15 pm
Posted by Christy Adkinson
Tags: , ,

Case Study Reveals Cray CX1 System Increases Delivery of Complex Analyses at National Supercomputing Center for Energy and the Environment

SEATTLE, WA, Jun 24, 2009 -- Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) today announced that the National Supercomputing Center for Energy and the Environment (NSCEE) tested the Cray CX1(TM) deskside supercomputer running Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008 and found the system is 46 percent faster in the delivery of complex analyses, resulting in greater researcher productivity. The results were reported in a newly released case study published by Cray and Microsoft's high performance computing (HPC) groups.

A full-service supercomputing facility located at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, the NSCEE maintains the most advanced HPC systems in Nevada. Although the NSCEE maintains a range of computing resources, the center sought a flexible, affordable option that researchers could easily use without needing to access one of the center's large supercomputers.

The NSCEE was introduced to a new computer, the Cray CX1 deskside supercomputer with Windows HPC Server 2008 and decided to conduct a series of benchmarking sessions to determine how the performance of the Cray CX1 system with 32 cores compared with traditional 32-core HPC solutions.

In October 2008, the NSCEE deployed the Cray CX1 system with Windows HPC Server 2008 and soon began running tests. The resulting case study with NSCEE highlighted the following results:

-- Faster performance. The NSCEE discovered that benchmarking results
indicated the Cray CX1 system with Windows HPC Server 2008 ran 46 percent
faster than a 32-core commercial, off-the-shelf cluster.

-- Greater productivity. NSCEE researchers could increase productivity
and quickly solve problems by getting results in days, rather than weeks.

-- Ease of use. With a familiar Windows user interface paired with a
supercomputing system that is small, quiet and purpose-built for the office
environment, NSCEE scientists didn't have to spend valuable research time
learning a new HPC system.

-- Cost savings. NSCEE researchers estimate that the organization will
see a 30 percent overall cost savings with the Cray CX1 system over
comparable systems, providing a cost-effective way to conduct analyses.

"The results of the benchmarking sessions highlighted in this case study provide excellent, real-world examples of how the Cray CX1 is having a positive impact for organizations like NSCEE," said Ian Miller, senior vice president of the productivity solutions group and marketing at Cray. "Today's scientific challenges require a range of processing capabilities, and the Cray CX1 allows researchers and scientists to access HPC performance at the deskside at a price starting at $25,000. As this case study shows, many organizations can benefit from this high productivity computing solution."

"Typical high performance computing solutions can be costly and complex, so Cray and Microsoft designed the CX1 with Windows HPC Server 2008 to meet performance objectives while still being easy to deploy, use and manage," said Vince Mendillo, director of HPC marketing at Microsoft. "We're thrilled to hear about the excellent benchmarking results that NSCEE achieved running this solution."

The complete case study can be found at the following link: http://www.cray.com/Assets/PDF/Products/CX1/UNLV.pdf

About the Cray CX1 Supercomputer

The Cray CX1 product is an affordably-priced, deskside supercomputer. Easy to configure, deploy, administer and use, it is the "right size" in performance, functionality and cost for a wide range of users, from the single user who wants a personal supercomputer to a department of users as a shared clustered resource. Equipped with powerful Intel Xeon(R) processors and Windows(R) HPC Server 2008 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Clustercorp Rocks+ or Platform Cluster Manager, the Cray CX1 product offers performance leadership across a broad range of applications and standard benchmarks. For organizations wanting to harness HPC without the complexity of traditional clusters, the Cray CX1 supercomputer delivers the power of a high performance cluster with the ease-of-use and seamless integration of a workstation.

About Cray Inc.

As a global leader in supercomputing, Cray provides highly advanced supercomputers and world-class services and support to government, industry and academia. Cray technology enables scientists and engineers to achieve remarkable breakthroughs by accelerating performance, improving efficiency and extending the capabilities of their most demanding applications. Cray's Adaptive Supercomputing vision will result in innovative next-generation products that integrate diverse processing technologies into a unified architecture, allowing customers to surpass today's limitations and meeting the market's continued demand for realized performance. Go to www.cray.com for more information.

Cray is a registered trademark, and Cray CX1 is a trademark of Cray Inc. Other product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Cray Media:
Nick Davis
206/701-2123
pr@cray.com

Cray Investors:
Paul Hiemstra
206/701-2044
ir@cray.com

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