Enterprise HPC News Weekly Wrap-up for June 01, 2007

In this week's enterprise HPC summary hardware startup Liquid Computing claims STREAM record, Star-P gets Python'd, the shakeup continues at Rackable, Celoxica gets all ROI on FPGAs, and much more.

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from this week’s enterprise HPC news stream as reported at insideHPC.com.

  • IDC is predicting that InfiniBand adoption will grow dramatically over the next 4 years; Story at HPCwire.
  • Not exactly HPC, but you might care to know that Dell is offering the Ubuntu 7.04 Linux distribution factory installed; more
  • Canadian-based Liquid Computing claims world record STREAM result
  • Interactive Supercomputing announced support for Python in Star-P, its flagship HPC offering
  • Hedge fund analytic grid selects Digipede Networks parallel infrastructure for a Windows grid solution; more

Executive shake up continues at Rackable

The Register is reporting that Rackable’s executive purge continues with the dismissal of Todd Ford, the company’s former Executive Vice President, effective last week .

According to the regulatory filing, Ford walks away with 12 months of continued salary ($350,000 US) and health insurance, and accelerated vesting for his stock options.

The change evidently wasn’t unexpected; from The Register:

“Over the last couple of months, Rackable had said that Ford would leave the company at the end of the year. It seems his departure was accelerated by new CEO Mark Barrenechea.”

The company’s share price has dropped from over $40 a year ago to around $12 at the end of May. You may recall that Rackable announced in April that it lost $10.2M US in Q1 triggered by a loss of business with Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Amazon to competitors IBM, HP, Sun, and Dell . Earlier this year Rackable also announced it’s own containerized computing solution to compete with Sun’s , and was the subject of acquisition rumors with Sun that haven’t panned out.

Altair adopts on demand multi-core licensing model

Altair Engineering (makers of PBS Pro, Hyperworks, and other tools) announced details this week of its new software model, claimed by the company to be

the first on-demand computing software environment that tackles the challenges of multi-core processor licensing. In response to industry changes, Altair’s innovative and patented software licensing model for PBS ProfessionalTM allows users to only pay for what they use, thus powering a pure on-demand computing environment.

Other changes include flexible software licenses that can float across enterprise computing resources, even when the enterprise is geographically distributed. The new licensing model is being released in conjunction with PBS Professional 9.0.

I can tell you as an HPC service provider that the cost of software is skyrocketing as companies simply multiply their old per-CPU license costs by 4,000 and 8,000 cores in today’s high end supercomputers. I’m not sure this model is the answer, but I’m glad to see someone is working on it.

Platform revs Symphony, adds support for up to 4k processors

Platform released news this week about the lastest update to its Symphony platform for the financial services industry. Symphony 3.1 now supports up to 4,000 processors per application on grids of up to 20,000 processors. This release doubles the max processor count applications can support.

According to the Symphony product page:

Platform Symphony enables you to solve mission critical pricing and risk problems in real time, delivering unsurpassed performance and competitive advantage. Built on Platform EGO, Symphony allows you to build, test, grid-enable, and manage application services on a highly fault-tolerant, shared, scaled-out infrastructure.

Celoxica puts econ spin on FPGA acceleration

Forbes.com’s Business Wire carried a story about Celoxica this week, an FPGA-based accelerated computing solutions manufacturer. What’s interesting about the story is the financial analysis spin Celoxica is putting on their offerings, indicating that they are targeting the enterprise HPC market (the fastest growing part of the HPC market):

Celoxica (LSE:CXA) presented results of an oil-exploration algorithm customer benchmark, achieving 28x performance improvement on a forward wave migration algorithm. In addition, Celoxica presented a financial analysis that showed a consistent 10x return on capital invested on FPGA-enabled servers, and a 50% increase in return on investment by adding one FPGA acceleration card to each server.

More here

John West summarizes the HPC news headlines every day at insideHPC.com, and writes on leadership and career issues for technology professionals at InfoWorld.

You can contact him at john@insidehpc.com.

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