Number 1 Linux Cluster Rides Again with the Help of Quadrics Technology
Posted by Federica Pisani, Tuesday June 22 2004 @ 08:43AM EDT

Number 1 Linux Cluster Rides Again- With Thunder, Quadrics continues to drive Linux Cluster's Performance over the edge.

The latest Quadrics based system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, called Thunder, delivers world-record performance for a commodity Linux cluster.

Quadrics has collaborated with LLNL over the past 4 years to integrate Quadrics technologies in over six large scale commodity based clusters to ensure that the demanding production performance, scalability and stability requirements of the Laboratory are satisfied.

The Itanium2 based Thunder with QsNetII enhances the existing LLNL simulation environment and integrates with the three other existing Xeon based commodity clusters with QsNet. This combined 32-bit and 64-bit simulation environment provides a total of over 36 teraFLOP/s of Linpack performance. Data sharing between compute clusters and visualization clusters is enabled by a single shared Lustre filesystem that runs over both QsNet and 1 Gb/s Ethernet networks. The LLNL simulation environment based on commodity Linux clusters with QsNet and multi-cluster Lustre filesystem is a major achievement in supercomputing. This approach is being followed by similar organizations.

"Thunder represents the next generation of Linux cluster for scientific simulation," remarked Mark Seager, Livermore's Assistant Department Head for Advanced Technology. "Our applications are seeing a 50% to 400% speed up over our Intel® Xeon® based clusters."

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- Performance 19.94 Tflops measure linpack performance
- Size 1024 port Quadrics QsNetII switch network - 920 Gbytes/s bisectional BW
- Nodes 1024 Tiger Quad processor servers
- Processors 4096 Intel ItaniumII processors
- Environment Integrated Luster File system with MCR, ALC, PVC
- Software Single Software Release for all systems

About Quadrics

Quadrics ( is a leading supplier and developer of high performance networking products and software for massively parallel systems. Quadrics has its HQ in UK and local presence in US and in Italy. Quadrics Ltd. is part of the Finmeccanica group (

The world's leading vendors and system integrators as well as major Supercomputing Centres such as Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory have selected Quadrics.

Quadrics Ltd is part of the Finmeccanica Group

About QsNetII

QsNetII is the latest interconnect technology released by Quadrics. With high bandwidth and ultra-low latency QsNet, is a crucial component for building scalable systems. Quadrics software ensures that productions clusters spanning thousands of processors can be programmed, used and administered effectively.

The QsNetII PCI-X 64-bit host adaptor delivers MPI latencies of 1.5-2.5 microseconds (depending upon host type) and bandwidths of up to 910 Mbytes/sec/adapter. Multiple adaptors can be used to provide more bandwidth and high availability where required.

About Thunder

Thunder ( is a highly integrated, well-balanced capability compute resource with 1,024 nodes. The cluster is capable of supporting a complex workload consisting of medium (1,024-2,048) and large (2,048-4,004) MPI task parallel jobs for unclassified Multi-programmatic & Institutional Computing (M&IC) simulations.

Find out more:

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Federica Pisani
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Michael Duffy
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