Server Wars Heating Up

OpenPOWER Rebel Alliance and x86 Empire score HPC wins Intel was awarded the contract today for the third of three massive new supercomputers ordered up by the U.S. DOE as part of the CORAL procurement. CORAL (Collaboration of Oak Ridge,…

Read More

Workstation Purchasing for the ADD/OCD-Riddled

As I walked past one of the booths on the GTC 2014 tradeshow floor, I suddenly had a feeling of deja vu.

I didn’t see anything to explain my feeling. I didn’t know either of the guys manning the booth, and the products arrayed on their tables didn’t spark any memories.

Then iit all came back to me in a flash. These guys, AVA Direct, had bailed me out of a very bad situation four years ago.

My System Philosophy & the Death of Hydra1

I’m sort of compulsive particular when it comes to my main system for business and home use. Since I use it for such a large portion of my day, I want to make sure that it can handle any combination of tasks I might throw at it.

My first home-built business/personal computer, “Hydra1,” a liquid cooled dual-socket system, had begun to randomly shut down. Not hanging up, no blue screen, just a complete fail. A new power supply didn’t do any good. Finally, I realized that the power connector on the motherboard was the problem.

In order to get the system to work at all, I had to resort to exotic contraptions of paperclips, rubber bands, and zip ties to keep the power cable in exactly the right position. Finally, just before I left on a long business trip, it failed completely. Hydra1 was dead.

The Search for Perfection – at a reasonable price

I had to get a new system, pronto. And I wanted another powerful box due to the increasing amount of video editing and other tasks I was handling. As I surfed the Web it became apparent that the “usual suspect” system vendors couldn’t help me.

Read More

Converge This! Cisco Talks VDI

Thinking about virtualizing your desktops? Want to run all those sessions in your data center and simply broadcast the screen and UI out to whatever devices your users desire?

There are a lot of vendors out there looking to ease your shift into VDI (virtualized desktop infrastructure) by helping to figure out how much server, storage, and network you need to make your desktop dreams come true.

At the NVIDIA GTC 2014 conference, I spent a few minutes with Tony Paikeday, Cisco’s Global Solutions Lead for desktop virtualization.

Read More

VDI: Public? Private? Both Clouds Served


The idea that you can run a bunch of user desktop sessions on servers isn’t new. The benefits promised by desktop virtualization are pretty profound, including large reductions in enterprise tech costs, better support for users, improved security, and even increased user happiness.

That last promise, the increased user happiness, has been difficult to keep – particularly when you’re dealing with “power users” who use a wide range of demanding applications. Data centers also run into trouble when trying to scale virtual desktop infrastructure efficiently and economically.

However, times change, and new technology has come along to make it possible, and much easier, to deliver solid quality desktop service to any users – regardless of their demands.

Read More

Getting the Most from Your HPC Bucks

You’ve pimped out your fancy new HPC cluster with the latest technology, each node jammed to the gills with shiny new CPUs, loads of memory, and maybe even a double brace of GPUs or other accelerators.

The installation work is done, and users are getting their first shot at the system. The performance boost on the new box is so profound that you’re halfway expecting a mob of ecstatic users to hoist you on their shoulders and parade you around the building. Indeed, a mob of users are gathering… but they’re carrying weapons crudely fashioned from their desktops.

As you’re being beaten about the head by a postdoc wielding a used toner cartridge, you find yourself wondering whether this situation could have been avoided.

Read More

IBM Backing Away From Hardware? Don’t be so sure, so-surers

This is one of those times when my inherent laziness comes back to bite me. I was writing an in-depthy article about the reasons behind IBM moving their chip works over to GlobalFoundries, but I saw that Reg Hack Ted Worstall has already published a very nice story. So I’m looking at the situation from a different angle – what are the implications on IBM’s systems business?

Read More

The World Cup of Supercomputing

Another competition is in the books! As GCG’s Dan Olds writes at, The ISC’14 Student Cluster Competition closed out last week in Leipzig, and damn, what a ride! It was an outstanding competition with story lines straight from Hollywood. Eleven…

Read More

ASC14 Cluster Configurations Revealed

One of the major differences between the recently completed Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge and the other major international competitions is the way the students get their clustering gear. In the ISC and SC competitions, part of the task for students is…

Read More

ASC14: Meet the Teams

Over at … meet the teams who built their own supercomputers at the Asia Student Supercomputing Challenge in Guangzhou, China. 

Read More

Get Your ASC14 On

Over at… …follow the action from Guangzhou, China – home of Tianhe-2 –  as we report on the second-ever Asia Student Supercomputing Challenge. Meet the teams, take a look at the hardware, and learn about the rigors of this…

Read More