Cray plans to build commodity server clusters that will run Linux

Cray plans to build commodity server clusters that will run Linux

Cray Inc. of Seattle by midyear will join the rush to commodity server clusters for the open-source Linux operating system, company officials said last month.

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 API-branded 64-bit Compaq Alpha processors. A high-speed network fabric from Myricom Inc. of Arcadia, Calif., will link them within Cray-designed cabinets.

The design can accommodate hundreds or thousands of Alpha processors, SuperCluster program manager William White said. Pricing is not yet available. Cray will layer some features from its proprietary Unicos operating system on top of Linux, 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.

The SuperCluster grew out of user requests for off-the-shelf Linux clusters that retained some software features of Cray's T3E parallel supercomputer, White said.

Cray won't abandon its traditional product line, including the T3E and SV1 supercomputers, he said.

'Patricia Daukantas

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