Energy, NASA add supersized Linux gear to their systems

The Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is buying the world's largest Linux cluster, built by Linux Networx Inc. of Sandy, Utah.

Together, the 960 nodes can execute more than 9 trillion operations per second, said Mark Seager, the lab's assistant department head for terascale systems. Each node will have two 2.4-GHz Pentium Xeon processors, 4G of memory and a 120G local drive. A global file system will supply another 110T of storage.

Good deal

Livermore sought proposals that used Linux because "it's amazingly cost-effective," Seager said. The unclassified cluster, which Seager said will cost less than $15 million, will simulate climate, material properties and laser ignition for controlled hydrogen fusion.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center recently brought online the first phase of a Hewlett-Packard AlphaServer SC45 supercomputer for studying global climate change. Computer Sciences Corp. is installing the system, which will eventually have more than 1,300 processors, under a two-year, $17.5 million contract.

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