LOS ANGELES, CA - July 10, 2003 -- Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc.
of Houston, Texas has selected a PSSC Labs Beowulf cluster to perform
advanced weather modeling computations. Universal Weather and Aviation
provides numerous services to the corporate aviation industry including:
Observations, Forecasts, NOTAMS, Sigmets/Airmets; Tropical Advisories
and Wind Charts. The firm frequently uses PSSC Labs clusters to develop
new informational products for their customers.
Devin Eyre, Meteorology Systems Administrator of Universal Weather &
Aviation stated, "The number of products we create is going to more than
double this year, so we needed something faster and more scalable."
This PSSC Labs "Powerwulf" consists of a 36-processor cluster using AMD
Athlon MP processors. Each node contains 2 GBs of memory and Gigabit
network interconnects. The cluster will primarily be used to run weather
modeling systems like MM5. Most applications will be run using PBS and X
to create precise graphics.
"Our primary motivation for getting the Beowulf cluster was the increase
in CPU speed for a reasonable cost," Eyre continued. "For what we paid
for the Beowulf cluster, we could have upgraded 8 of the 750Mhz CPUs to
900Mhz CPUs on the Sun 4800, of course you have to upgrade all of the
CPUs to the same speed on a Sun 4800."
Linux-based systems are rapidly becoming more competitive in business
and research fields and are seen by many industry observers as more
reliable, and easier to manage than single supercomputers running
proprietary software. On Thursday, research firm Gartner Dataquest
released server revenue figures showing that worldwide sales of
Linux-based servers hit $609 million in the first quarter of 2003, a 51
percent increase over last year and a harbinger of sales in additional
"As open source systems continue to prove themselves in the marketplace,
we've found that the number of applications for our systems is limitless
in various industries. Beowulf clusters offer reliable supercomputing at
a fraction of the price and have proven their worth in every field from
defense to pharmaceuticals to weather prediction." said Alex Lesser,
Vice President of PSSC Labs. "We're pleased that this cluster will help
Universal Weather to provide accurate and safe weather reports to their