Sun acquires commercial Lustre vendor, and much more

In today's enterprise HPC roundup we have news that Sun has announced today that it will acquire Lustre file system vendor CFS. Also, Wall Street's gear appeals to online gaming companies, new hardware, and lightweight virtual machines.

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from the recent enterprise HPC news stream as reported at

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Sun acquires commercial Lustre company

Several weeks ago we had the announcement that CFS was moving its commercial Lustre implementation to use ZFS as a backend.

Today the other shoe dropped as Sun bought the whole company lock, stock, and barrel. (More on this enterprise HPC news item)

In a Virtual World, Latency Can Be Deadly

The same kind of high performance, low latency computing technologies used by stock traders is attracting the attention of companies building massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). A Computerworld article highlights some of the challenges faced by MMOG systems, which may host tens of thousands of concurrent players.

In rapid-fire stock trading, a minuscule amount of latency in the transmission of data packets “costs real money,” said David Laux, IBM’s global executive for games and interactive entertainment. “In a game, the slightest bit of latency may mean the difference between life and death of your character.”

CCP, an Icelandic company that developed EVE Online (an MMOG set in a futuristic virtual world), is looking at investing in mainstream HPC technologies like InfiniBand and MPI to make sure that their infrastructure can scale as they add hordes of eager new players. Wall Street, move over.

Lightweight virtual machines

Story from the Ashlee Vance at The Register on an extremely thin version from one of the flagship VM products: VMWare ESX Server. This version is currently weighing in at a trim 32MB that is implemented via flash memory.

The previous portly version was measured in Gigabytes on the hard drive.

Dell unveils iSCSI support; creates opening for inexpensive NAS in small clusters

Dell has unveiled its support for the iSCSI storage protocol in its MD3000i line of storage appliances. The device can support up to four [4] 1Gb/s ethernet connections in high availability models. Maximum capacity sits at 6TB using 15 400GB SAS drives. Additional capacity can be gained via MD1000 expansion units. The primary application for the device in an HPC environment would be as a inexpensive, reliable NAS device for small research clusters and home file systems. (More on this enterprise HPC news item)

Microway announces support for Quad-core Opteron

Following the recent AMD Barcelona kickoff, Microway announced its new Navion-QQ server platform. The Navion-QQ comes configured with 4 or 8 quad-core AMD chips and sports up to 128GB of RAM. The Navion-QQ is idealy suited for enterprise database applications as well as memory intensive HPC applications such as computational fluid dynamics, digital signal processing and finite elements analysis. (More on this enterprise HPC news item)

John West summarizes the HPC news headlines every day at, and writes on leadership and career issues for technology professionals at InfoWorld. You can contact him at