Cray enters Linux cluster market

Cray enters Linux cluster market

By Patricia Daukantas

GCN Staff

JAN. 29—Cray, a brand name long associated with vector supercomputing, will soon appear on commodity server clusters running the open-source Linux operating system.

In conjunction with the LinuxWorld conference in New York, Cray Inc. of Seattle today announced it will start selling the clusters in mid-2001 without abandoning its traditional products, including the T3E and SV1 parallel supercomputers.

The Cray SuperCluster will incorporate 1.75-inch-high, two-way CS20 servers from API NetWorks Inc. of Concord, Mass. The so-called pizza box servers will use 64-bit Compaq Alpha processors. A high-speed network fabric from Myricom Inc. of Arcadia, Calif., will link the servers within Cray-designed cabinets.

Cray will layer some features from its proprietary Unicos operating system on top of Linux, SuperCluster program manager William White said. The features include a global file system for handling large data sets and a checkpoint-restart utility for interrupting and restarting large jobs.

Clusters of commodity servers linked by high-bandwidth networks, pioneered by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., have made recent inroads at federal research sites such as Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory, both of which are in New Mexico.

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