SGI Announced Several Early Adopters of Linux-based SGI Altix 3000 Servers
Tuesday July 08 2003 @ 03:37PM EDT

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- SGI announced several early adopters in the technical markets who have purchased Linux-based SGI Altix 3000 servers and superclusters featuring the new Intel Itanium 2 processors (1.30 GHz with 3M L3 cache, and 1.50 GHz with 6M L3 cache). With the faster processors, SGI Altix 3000 continues to deliver record performance on an industry-standard platform, inspiring customers in a range of technical markets and disciplines to order new systems and field upgrades. Although Intel announced commercial availability of the new processors today, several SGI customers have deployed pre-release versions in recent weeks.

“With these new Itanium 2 processors, SGI Altix 3000 delivers precisely the kind of world-record performance required by SGI customers and developers,” said Dave Parry, senior vice president and general manager of Servers and Platform Group, SGI. “SGI’s technical compute customers are among the most demanding users in the world, and the Altix 3000 system’s ability to extract near-linear scalability from new processors is a substantial competitive advantage for them. They realize that the Altix 3000 provides the balance and bandwidth necessary to get the absolute most from the fastest processors Intel has to offer.”

“SGI’s Altix 3000 based on new Intel Itanium 2 processors will deliver the high-bandwidth, high-productivity performance, reliability and scalability technical computing customers are looking for,” said Mike Fister, senior vice president, Intel Enterprise Platforms Group. “As a leader in high-performance computing, SGI has designed Altix with the kind of headroom that enables enterprise processor upgrades as Intel accelerates the power it delivers to HPC customers. SGI, using Intel-based systems, is set to be a leader in this growing market segment.”

Customers Seek Real-World Performance with Altix 3000

A growing number of customers understand that the balanced, 64-bit architecture of the SGI Altix 3000 family allows them to extract the greatest real-world performance from their systems up to configurations of over 100 processors. The Altix™ 3000 family also allows for easy, seamless field upgrades for customers whose HPC applications benefit from the additional performance available with new and faster generations of Intel Itanium 2 processors. Among the first SGI customers to deploy Altix 3000 systems based on the new processors are:

* The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has granted to purchased an SGI Altix 3000 system powered by 416 Intel Itanium 2 processors (1.30 GHz, 3M) and 832GB of memory. The system will be installed at SARA Computing and Networking Services (the Dutch National HPC and Networking Center), and will be closely integrated with an existing 1,024-processor SGI server installation. SARA plans to leverage the new SGI system for a vast array of supercomputing applications operating in a grid environment. The system will be used for a vast array of scientific supercomputing applications, including climate research, medical science, water management and water quality calculations, fluid dynamics and turbulence modeling, computational chemistry, and genomics, including bioinformatics.

* One of the nation’s premiere scientific facilities, the Center for Computational Sciences at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will advance its far-reaching computational sciences and engineering activities to a new SGI Altix 3000 installation running 256 Intel Itanium 2 processors (1.50 GHz with 6MB L3 cache) with 2 terabytes of system memory and 1.5 teraFLOPs of computational power. ORNL plans to deploy the new installation to drive a new class of applications—including advanced computational biology, environmental research and climate simulations—that generate exceptionally large and complex data sets.

* The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has acquired a new SGI Altix 3000 system powered by 128 Intel Itanium 2 processors (1.50 GHz, 6MB). The new system will provide PNNL scientists with enhanced capabilities to study the fundamental sciences behind chemistry, systems biology, energy and national security.

* The University of Minnesota’s Supercomputing Institute will serve researchers across the state of Minnesota with a new SGI Altix 3000 system driven by 24 Intel Itanium 2 processors (1.30 GHz, 3MB) and 48GB of system memory.

* The newly founded Institute for Computational Biomedicine (ICB) at Weill Medical College of Cornell University is employing an Altix 3700 system with 16 Intel Itanium 2 processors (1.30 GHz, 3MB) and 16 GB of memory to enable biomedical scientists to attack complex research problems in systems biology and bioinformatics that will directly impact medical science. According to ICB Technology Officer Jason Banfelder, Cornell was compelled by the ability to rapidly and economically expand its HPC infrastructure as computational requirements increased.

* At the University of Washington’s Department of Astronomy, groundbreaking research led by Dr. Tom Quinn is delving into the origins of the universe. With two new SGI Altix 3000 systems, each powered by 12 Intel Itanium 2 processors (11.30 GHz with 3MB L3 cache), Quinn and his colleagues can more efficiently run and analyze simulations of cosmological structure formation, in addition to studies of galactic and solar system dynamics and planet formation. The two new SGI Altix 3000 systems – one with 32 GB of memory and the other with 16GB–will allow researchers to interpret simulation results more quickly and accurately. University of Washington researchers selected the SGI Altix 3000 systems because they required a low-latency, high-bandwidth, Linux OS-based solution capable of accommodating large models in a single memory footprint.

The SGI Altix 3000 family of servers and superclusters combines SGI® supercomputing architecture with Intel Itanium 2 processors and the Linux operating system. SGI Altix 3000 is recognized as the first Linux cluster that scales up to 64 processors within each node and the first cluster ever to allow global shared-memory access across nodes. Inspired by the success of the SGI Altix family and the powerful combination of standard Linux on Intel® processors, more than 50 high-performance manufacturing, science, energy and environmental applications have been ported by their commercial developers to the 64-bit Linux environment, more than half of which have certified and optimized for the platform.

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