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    Linux Networx: Clusternews Issue #12
    Tuesday April 06 2004 @ 12:08PM EDT

    Clusternews(TM) Sponsored by Linux Networx, Inc. +P r o v e n (TM) Issue #12

    The information source on the latest in Linux clustering and happenings here at Linux Networx. See below for table of contents.

    ************************************************************************

    Free Online Seminar: Linux Networx, in partnership with Fluent, invites you to attend our latest technical series presentation entitled "Cluster Computing for CFD." What to Expect Fluent parallel performance on cluster environments . The keys to successful implementation of Cluster Computing and the common pitfalls . Cluster sizing - How big of a cluster do I need? . Overview of high-speed interconnects options . Cluster delivery, security, and ongoing maintenance . Case studies describing successful implementation of Cluster Computing . An invitation to run your CFD problems on a large-scale cluster environment Thursday, April 15, 2004 2:00 pm ET

    For more information visit: http://www.linuxnetworx.com/webinar

    ************************************************************************

    ======================================================================== Clusternews(TM) In this issue:

    Announcement: Pentagon buys supercomputer from Linux Networx http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/os/linux/story/0,10801,90327,00.html Article: Audi's Challenge: Building Safer & More Reliable Cars http://www.linuxnetworx.com/news/pdf/audi_case_study_0312.pdf In the News: Supercomputing=Super ROI http://www.connect-utah.com/article.asp?r=280&iid=21&sid=1 Events: ClusterWorld, Webinar: Cluster Computing for CFD http://www.linuxnetworx.com/news/events.php FACQ: Frequently Asked Clustering Questions See below.

    ========================================================================

    Announcement:

    Pentagon buys supercomputer from Linux Networx

    FEBRUARY 19, 2004 - Linux Networx is building a new, high-performance 2,132-CPU Linux cluster supercomputer for the U.S. Department of Defense as part of an IT modernization program being undertaken by the agency.

    In an announcement today, Salt Lake City-based Linux Networx said the Evolocity II cluster will be used by the Army Research Laboratory Major Shared Resource Center (MSRC) as part of the Defense Department's High Performance Computing Modernization Program.

    Read more at: http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/os/linux/story/0,10801,90327,00.html

    ========================================================================

    Article:

    Audi's Challenge: Building Safer & More Reliable Cars

    Next time you see a sporty Audi A8 cruising down the road, you'll know that Linux played a role in designing this popular car.

    Throughout its storied history, Audi has taken on the role of automotive technological pioneer. So when the German car manufacturer started designing the new Audi Space Frame, a high-strength aluminum frame structure designed for greater safety, increased performance, improved handling, and lower fuel consumption, this product was no exception. The only mass-produced car frame made completely of aluminum, the Audi Space Frame is enjoying much success on new models of the A8 and A2. However, Audi wanted to further enhance the safety of their cars and recently embarked on designing the fourth generation Audi Space Frame - an encounter that led to the company's adoption of Linux.

    Read more at: http://www.linuxnetworx.com/news/pdf/audi_case_study_0312.pdf

    ========================================================================

    In the News:

    Supercomputing=Super ROI

    Take a glance at the list of the top 10 supercomputers and you'll see an anomaly. Manufacturers of the world's fastest computers include IBM, HP, Dell, Apple, NEC and a small Utah-based company named Linux Networx.

    Linux Networx has, in fact, two supercomputers on the top ten list (http://www.top500.org/list/2003/11). Its Lightning computer, developed for Los Alamos National Laboratory, ranks as the fifth fastest computer on the planet and Linux Networx's MCR computer, sold to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, places sixth in the line up.

    http://www.connect-utah.com/article.asp?r=280&iid=21&sid=1 ---

    Automaker Audi and Linux: Linux on the Inside Track

    At times, Linux seems almost like a religion: Either you believe or you don't. Soon, true believers who are in the market for cars may feel inclined to buy Audis as a demonstration of their faith. That's because the German automaker is using a cluster of Linux-on-Intel systems to simulate parts and design factory tooling for its next-generation chassis. Audi replaced an eight-processor, RISC-based system from Hewlett-Packard that was running HP-UX and coming off a three-year lease.

    Read more at: http://www.nwc.com/showitem.jhtml?articleID=17501943&pgno=1 ---

    Army lab puts Linux cluster into service

    One of the military's four chief supercomputing centers has put a 256-processor Linux cluster to work.

    The system, which has a peak speed of 1.7 trillion floating operations per second, is the first Linux production cluster among the four major shared resource centers, said Thomas Kendall, chief systems engineer for the center at the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Md. The centers are the backbone of the Defense Department's High-Performance Computing Modernization Program.

    Read more at: http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/24323-1.html ---

    Linux Networx and MSC.Software Partner to Deliver Validated Cluster System Solutions

    Linux Networx announced today a partnership with MSC.Software Corp. (NYSE: MNS), the leading global provider of virtual product development (VPD) products including simulation software and services, to provide manufacturers an integrated software and cluster computing system for computer-aided engineering (CAE) and VPD.

    Read more at: http://www.linuxnetworx.com/news/news.php?story=http://www.linuxnetworx.com/news/11.24.2003.53-Linux_Networx_a.html ========================================================================

    Events and Speaking Engagements:

    Event: ClusterWorld Location: San Jose Convention Center, San Jose CA Date: April 6-8, 2004 Booth #: 209

    Free Online Seminar: Linux Networx, in partnership with Fluent, invites you to attend our latest technical series presentation entitled "Cluster Computing for CFD." What to Expect Subjects covered during the seminar will include: . Fluent parallel performance on cluster environments . The keys to successful implementation of Cluster Computing and the common pitfalls . Cluster sizing - How big of a cluster do I need? . Case studies describing successful implementation of Cluster Computing Thursday, April 15, 2004 2:00 pm ET

    For more information visit: http://www.linuxnetworx.com/webinar

    ========================================================================

    Frequently Asked Clustering Questions:

    With each Linux Networx newsletter, we will provide some useful Linux clustering information as well as specific Linux Networx clustering tips.

    Q: I've heard a lot about Linux clusters lately. How do I know if I'm ready to migrate to this computing platform?

    A: Does your current system run slowly and you need faster results? Is your current system at end-of-life and is no longer supported by the manufacturer? Does your current "big iron" box simply cost too much money to operate and you need a way out from under its exorbitant maintenance fees? If any of these questions strike a chord, a Linux cluster may be the right solution, but a thorough self-examination is needed to ensure a cluster is a right fit for your organization.

    ---

    Q: How do I know if my applications will work with a Linux cluster?

    A: If you fit into one or more of the following, there is a strong likelihood a Linux cluster system will be beneficial for your organization:

    1) Monte Carlo Analysis or parametric execution. In simple terms, are you running a program many times using different sets of input data? A cluster provides an ideal platform for this type of application.

    2) Applications that are already parallelized or easily parallelized. Some applications are inherently parallel in the way they function. Others can be made to work in parallel very simply with minimal intrusion or algorithmic development.

    3) Ability to modify the application. Getting the application to run on a cluster will, in almost all cases, require modification and/or re-compiling. However, commercial and free parallel cluster applications that can be run "out of the box" without modification are becoming more common, but most applications being run on clusters are in-house designs. If you are not sure, chances are you are going to need the source code to your application and modify it. Professional services provided by some cluster vendors, such as Linux Networx, as well as application providers, are available to help modify source code

    ---

    Q: What physical resources do I need to have before bringing a cluster into our computing environment?

    A: 1) Power - Each cluster node can consume between 100 to 600 watts of power. Take that and multiply it by the number of nodes you are planning on including in the cluster. Add on margin for switching, storage, UPS systems, and you could end up with a system requiring tens of kilo-watts on up!

    2) Cooling - Consumption of power equates to generation of heat. A watt is a watt (i.e. a small rack of servers that consumes 3,000 watts is equivalent to running a two, 1,500 watt space heaters). This heat needs to go somewhere or else the cluster will heat up, continue to generate more heat, and eventually start to fail based on components exceeding their thermal limits. You should work carefully with your system provider to ensure your facilities provide adequate cooling capacity and air flow prior to making your decision to buy a system.

    3) Floor space/volume - Clusters can be big. A cluster rack takes up almost 5 sq ft and can be over 6 ft. tall. Make sure you have room in your lab or data center.

    4) Weight - A full rack of cluster nodes is heavy. Up to 2000 lbs (usually lighter). Many floors, particularly in older labs and buildings, were not designed to take that type of load. Check with your landlord. If you can't have a waterbed, you probably can't have a cluster.

    *** Some of these FACQ are taken from the Migrating to Clusters training course offered by Linux Networx ***

    For more information regarding our training courses please visit: http://www.linuxnetworx.com/company/training.php

    ========================================================================

    2002-2004, Linux Networx, Inc. Linux Networx and the Linux Networx logo are registered trademarks of Linux Networx, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

    =====================================================================

    (C) 2003, Linux NetworX, Inc. Linux NetworX and the Linux NetworX logo are registered trademarks of Linux NetworX, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

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