the mystery of the week

Customer has had a machine for a while. Generally stable. Followed our advice on doing a reboot recently. Unit started crashing Monday. Then today. Hard to stay up and stable. I asked if anything has changed, and haven’t gotten anything conclusive … mostly “we don’t think so”. About the crashes: Nothing in the logs. Not … Read more the mystery of the week

2 out of 3 ain't bad

No, not Meatloaf lyrics. A few years ago, I guessed that the HPC market was going to bifurcate or possibly trifurcate. Well, its about 3 years on, and bifurcate it did.
Accelerators (in the form of GPUs) are everywhere. I was dead on correct in almost every aspect of what I had predicted (privately to VCs, from whom we couldn’t raise a cent in the early/mid 2000’s for this market).
Remote cluster/clouds with dropping prices per CPU hour are taking over sections of HPC, and we see some impact upon purchase decisions made by people buying clusters. Buy what you will use day to day, and buy the extra cycles you need when you need em. Just in time cycle acquisition.
Got these right. And yes, we even tried raising money for the cloud bit in 2005/2006. This time from a (short sighted) state program and VCs. Had a large customer lined up, had a VC willing to chip in, just needed the state program to agree to this.
That state program is now generally seen as an abject failure in its previous incarnation … it was supposed to help start up companies with good ideas, VCs, and likely customers. Go figure.
Of course, I got some things wrong.
I guessed that “muscular desktops” and “personal supercomputers” would become the norm.
Boy was I wrong.
Desktops, the ones that people bought, were cheap units for the most part. The big powerful supercomputer in a deskside chassis? Not selling so much. More than 8 processor cores and more than 16 GB ram? Not so interesting to people.
I had bet they were, and we built the Pegasus deskside units around them. These are basically very powerful computers with many cores, huge amounts of ram, accelerators, IO, networking, and graphics.

Read more2 out of 3 ain't bad

Day job PR: JRTI and Scalable Informatics Form Strategic Partnership

Will be up on the day job site tomorrow. We are very excited by these developments, and look forward to a productive relationship

JRTI and Scalable Informatics Form Strategic Partnership to Provide High Performance Storage and CPU & GPU Clusters to Organizations Seeking Exceptional Results
Richmond, Virginia (January 18, 2011)-James River Technical, Inc (JRTI), specialists in accelerated and HPC solutions for the higher education, research, government, and commercial market segments, has entered into a reseller agreement with Scalable Informatics (Scalable) to provide Storage and HPC solutions throughout North America.
“Scalable’s portfolio offers our clients outstanding solutions for their storage and computational needs,” said Jeff Fettig, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JRTI. “These solutions are strongly targeted at the data and computationally-intensive workloads that our customers continue to operate and to grow.”
“Scalable Informatics is excited to be working with JRTI,” said Dr. Joseph Landman, CEO of Scalable Informatics. “Our two companies bring significant synergies that customers can leverage to help them meet their objectives – and do so cost-effectively, with best-of-breed performance, scalability, and reliability.”

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HPC in the critical path

Is high performance computing a critical path technology? Is it a technology that you cannot do without? This is a question some potential partners were discussing this evening. Very interesting question. If HPC is not critical, then demand for it should be quite moderate. If it is not critical, then the market would have basically … Read more HPC in the critical path


The IBM folks have turned the Blue Gene into what they claim is the worlds fastest blast engine. Interesting read. They use our A. thaliana data in the Bioinformatics Benchmark System v3 (BBS) to perform their measurement, as well as data from Aaron Darling for mpiBLAST. Our data had been in a mislabeled file for … Read more Amusing