ServerWatch News Briefs for November 21, 2003

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Nov 21, 2003


This Week's Swatches

  • Latest TOP500 Supercomputer List Is Out
  • RackSaver Unveils Itanium-2-based Server Blade
  • FE77 Releases Latest Version of Mac OS X-based Web Server
  • AmeriVault Announces Souped-Up Recovery Services Suite
  • Latest TOP500 Supercomputer List Is Out
    The SC2003 conference on supercomputing held earlier this week in Phoenix, Ariz. was host to a bevy of vendor announcements related to their respective current standing in the TOP500 list, a semi-annual survey of the top 500 supercomputers as ranked by their performance on the LINPACK Benchmark. A variety of vendors also made product announcements this week, including RackSaver, FE77, and AmeriVault.

    The TOP500, a semi-annual survey of the top 500 supercomputers ranked by their performance on the LINPACK Benchmark, was made public this week at the SC2003 Conference in Phoenix, Ariz.

    NEC once again snagged the top spot, with its Earth Simulator supercomputer retaining the number one position with a Linpack benchmark performance of 35.86 teraflops (Tflop/s or -- trillions of calculations per second). It was built by NEC and installed last year at the Earth Simulator Center in Yokohama, Japan.

    Overall, 131 systems reported a Linpack performance exceeding 1 Tflop/s. Performance levels at all positions of the TOP500 list continue to grow, and the total combined performance of all 500 computers on the list exceeded the level of half a "petaflop/s" (or quadrillion of calculations per second). It is now 528 TFlop/s, compared to 375 Tflop/s just six months ago. The slowest system on the newest listing is now 403.4 Gflop/s, which exceeds the 245.1 Gflop/s threshold of six months ago.

    Intel saw the greatest gain in this survey period. The number of systems in the TOP500 list using Intel processors is now 189, an increase from June's 119. According to the organization, this signifies a major shift in this marketplace, with the Intel processor family now the most dominant processor used in HPC systems. It is followed by Hewlett-Packard's PA-RISC chips and IBM's Power architecture.

    Both Hewlett-Packard and IBM claim domination over the list.

    IBM took the lead in terms of total performance of all the installed systems. The latest TOP500 shows IBM with 35.4 percent of the total performance power, ahead of HP with 22.7 percent and NEC with 8.7 percent.

    HP took the lead in terms of the total number of systems on the list with 165 systems. IBM had 159 systems on the list. SGI came in third with 41 systems. No other company was able to take more than 6 percent in either of total processing power or number of systems.

    Jack Dongarra and Erich Strohmaier from the University of Tennessee and Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim have compiled and published the TOP500 since June 1993. High-performance computer experts, computational scientists, manufacturers, and the Internet users who responded to a questionnaire sent out, as well as parts of statistical lists published by others for different purposes helped with the rankings.

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    RackSaver Unveils Itanium-2-based Server Blade

    Also at the Supercomputing Conference this week, RackSaver unveiled the first Intel Itanium 2 processor based server blade. The new blade operates in its 132 CPU UltraDense BladeRack.

    Designed to meet the most demanding high performance computing requirements, the RackSaver Intel Itanium 2 processor blade supports dual Intel Itanium 2 processors running up to 1.5GHz with up to 6 MB of L3 cache and 16 GB of 4-way interleaved ECC DDR RAM memory, which is housed in the RackSaver UltraDense BladeRack. The UltraDense BladeRack can accommodate 132 1.5GHz Itanium 2 processors.

    "RackSaver's Intel Itanium 2 processor-based UltraDense BladeRack is a highly innovative solution delivering a new level of performance, density, and affordability for technical computing professionals worldwide," said Rick Herrmann, Intel's HPC Program Office Manager.

    The RackSaver NemeSys I2 also debuted this week. The NemeSys I2 is an Intel Itanium 2 processor based workstation with a supercomputer class ultrahigh-bandwidth system architecture designed for floating point intensive graphical applications that include seismic processing, computational fluid dynamics, computational chemistry, scientific computing, and visualization.

    "RackSaver's patented Vertical Cooling System is the enabling technology that allows us to deliver unprecedented Intel Itanium 2 based performance, density, and affordability in the smallest footprint possible," said David Driggers, CEO of RackSaver.

    "Combined with the newly introduced NemeSys I2 Itanium 2 workstation and existing Itanium 2 enterprise rack mount servers, Racksaver now delivers one of the broadest range of Itanium 2 products in the industry -- from desktop to data center," Driggers added.

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    FE77 Latest Version of Mac OS X-based Web Server

    FE77 Software released the next version of its popular Web server product, Server Suite for Mac OS X.

    It is available for immediate download.

    FE77 Server Suite version 2 is designed to turn a Mac G3, G4, or G5 running Mac OS X Client 10.2 or 10.3 into an open-standards-based Web services powerhouse. It features an easy-to-use interface in which Mac users can design, develop, and deploy applications.

    Server Suite 2 is being marketed as a comprehensive server solution ideal for corporate and educational institutions as well as individual developers.

    With Server Suite 2, FE77 integrated open source software technologies and created simple management tools to take advantage of standards-based server solutions. It features a fast OS X optimized version of Apache 2 (2.0.47) with support for WebDAV, the latest version of Jakarta Tomcat, v4.0.27, built for Java 1.4.1 and a new version of Server Manager.app, which is optimized for Mac OS X 10.2 and 10.3.

    Server Suite 2 also offers an unlimited number server connections for one basic price. A license is purchased for a machine, regardless of the number of CPUs it contains or simultaneous connections, and volume discounts are available for multi-machine installs.

    A new version of Server Manager.app, its desktop manager client application complement, was also released. Server Manager.app features a new interface and features, including a preferences system offering more controls over server functions from a small, fast, and elegant interface. It also features localization in French and German. Version 1.5 is available only with Server Suite 2.

    FE77 Server Suite version 2 is available for immediate purchase through FE77's online store starting at $60 for a single user license. Volume discounts are available. Educational discounts and a software subscription plan that that entitles organizations to receive every major upgrade release for Server manager are also available.

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    AmeriVault Introduces Souped-Up Recovery Services Suite

    AmeriVault this week introduced its new Enhanced Recovery Services Suite.

    The vendor designed the product suite to enable enterprises to leverage cost-effective and fail-safe online backup in a way that is further customized to meet their exact needs and requirements.

    The suite offers the following features:

    • A dedicated vault in the client's data center that is remotely managed by AmeriVault and for which it oversee all backup and recovery
    • A dedicated and nightly populated mobile vault, which is ready on-demand within minutes
    • Servers and storage dedicated to a single customer in AmeriVault's data center
    • Software and training to enable the organization to leverage online backup internally, with the data backed up to customers' internal data centers

    AmeriVault's online backup service recognizes and captures changes to files (at the block level), encrypts the data for enhanced security, and compresses it to minimize transmission time. The encrypted data is then sent over the Internet or private telecommunication lines to its secure offsite Mass Storage Vaults or via AmeriVault's new enhanced services to clients' internal data centers. Company personnel schedule automated, unattended backups according to their needs. Data is then retrieved online and in real time from the place of business or remotely.

    Pricing for AmeriVault online backup and enhanced recovery services is based on the amount of data and the client's specific needs.

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