August 26th, 2009 10:19 am
Posted by Ian Miller
Tags: Cluster, Cray, CX1, deskside, Intel, workstation
Remember when your workstation was a serious piece of equipment? It was the primary tool of the engineer or scientist. Today’s slimmed-down "workstations" are multi-purpose systems that are used for gaming as much as actual work.
This has created a chasm between the workstation and its natural upgrade path - the cluster. They operate in different worlds – one is often running Windows, the other Linux. One is managed by the user or department, and the other controlled by IT. One is normally freely available to the individual while the other is dependent on a queue of users wanting time on a shared resource.
So what is the workstation user who needs more power to do? We think the answer is to combine the functionality of the workstation and the cluster into one departmental system – like the Cray CX1. The Cray CX1 supports the NVIDIA Quadro graphics cards for high end graphics performance, delivering workstation capabilities based on Intel 5500 processors. It also supports in one low cost chassis up to 6 additional nodes for a full Intel 5500 based cluster, networked either through Gigabit Ethernet or InfiniBand.
This means the user gets all the power they need in a workstation, but the additional capability to scale-out their jobs in the cluster nodes - achieving cluster performance right there in the office. There is no dependence on IT, and no need to wait in line for a shared resource. The workstation user can get back to "work" with their Cray CX1 workstation and get the job done faster.
Workstations used to be very cool, and with Intel 5500 processors and a Cray CX1, they are cool once again!
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
You must be a Registered Member in order to comment on Cluster Connection posts.
Members enjoy the ability to take an active role in the conversations that are shaping the HPC community. Members can participate in forum discussions and post comments to a wide range of HPC-related topics. Share your challenges, insights and ideas right now.
Login Register Now