IT/Datacenter & Super Computing News - Page 6
We might be running out of room on the Earth for server racks and compute power. Or maybe not, but Microsoft still wants to start putting server farms and small clusters of data-centers in the bottom of the ocean. It might even be greener and more cost effective.
Project Natick is precisely the venture that Microsoft is concocting to put our data under the sea. The logic is actually quite sound, however. The idea is that containerized data centers can, if properly equipped, be cooled naturally and even use the energy from currents and waves to power them. It's a novel approach to making data, and the cloud, a more environmental friendly thing. If they don't leak and pollute the ocean of course.
And the researchers plan their submersibles to have a five year life-cycle, where they can be retrieved, refitted and upgraded with new hardware. And what if there's a malfunction or problem? Hardware failures happen, it's just a fact of life. So what if there's a HDD that suddenly can't write, and it needs to be replaced and the data restored? Presumably it'll have to be retrieved by boat and attended to, which could cost more money in manpower and equipment than just having a data-center easily accessible by humans.
It looks like The Matrix and the Terminator movies weren't enough to make us stop trying to create an AI takeover, but now Facebook has just announced plans to open source its Open Rack-compatible hardware design for AI computing - something that has been codenamed Big Sur.
Facebook's Kevin Lee and Serkan Piantino explained that Big Sur was built to use 8 x high-performance GPUs, consuming 300W each. They were using NVIDIA's Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform, claiming that Big Sur was twice as fast as previous generations, something that were using off-the-shelf components and design.
The increased speed allows Facebook to train neural networks twice as fast, as well as exploring networks that are twice as large as before. In the end, training can be distributed between the 8 x GPUs, with the size and speed of the networks being scaled by another factor of two.
GTC 2015 - At NVIDIA GTC 2015, Lenovo shows its NeXtScale systems blades and enclosure. The blades can support NVIDIA Tesla K80 video cards, compute nodes and storage.
Here we see three blade examples with the NVIDA Tesla K80 blade in the middle. This blade can support two K80's or two Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor cards in a single doublewide blade. Other blades can be configured as computer nodes supporting two Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors, or storage blades housing up to 7x hard drives.
Also on display was Lenovo's N1200 server enclosure outfitted to support NVIDIA GRID servers.
SEMI-THERM 31 - We had a chance to visit QuantaCool at SEMI-THERM 31 to see their new cooling systems. The systems are using QuantaCool's MHP technology that provides passive cooling of high-intensity heat sources such as CPU's. There are no moving parts in the loop or water; cooling fluids are safe, environmentally benign and electrically nonconductive. These systems do not require a pump; Coolant circulation is driven by the heat being removed and uses gravity-return to provide circulation.
This was QuantaCool's first trade show and made a huge impression at SEMI-THERM 31. The systems they demonstrated are in prototype stages now, however they did have several systems up and running to show cooling potential in several different configurations.
The first system was a workstation running an Intel 4770K @ 4.6GHz. This system was running for several days at heavy stress loads and maintained operation without a glitch.
GTC 2015 - At NVIDIA GTC 2015, Tyan displays two of its heavy-duty HPC platforms. While most companies displayed GPU platforms, Tyan was there with its powerful High Performance Computing Platforms.
The first system is a FT77C-B7079 4U platform designed for up to 8x Intel Xeon Phi Coprocessors. This is a dual CPU socket system using Intel E5-2600 v3 processors and fast DDR4 memory.
Next, we found a real powerhouse and the only Quad CPU system that we saw at NVIDA GTC 2015. This system is called the FT76-B7922 4U4S, server platform for both Enterprise and HPC applications. The CPU's used on this system are 4x Xeon E7-4800 v3 processors. Resent leaks of data on these CPU's shows the E7-4800 v3's can go as high as 14 cores each which could give this system 56 cores / 112 threads. For memory load-out, it includes a massive capability of up to 6.144TB of DDR4 in 8x memory risers with 96 memory slots.
We also spotted Tyan's TN71-BP012 2U OpenPOWER platform for CSP deployment. This system uses IBM POWER8 Turismo SCM processors and can handle up to 1TB of DDR3.
GTC 2015 - Today at NVIDIA GTC 2015, we stopped by Supermicro's booth to look at the latest Tesla GPU Superservers. As always, Supermicro has a wide variety of servers and workstations to meet the needs of its customers.
Sumit Gupta, general manager of Accelerated Computing at NVIDIA explained to us: "Supermicro's new high-density servers provide a range of computing solutions for enterprise and HPC customers," he continued: "Designed to take full advantage of ultra-high performance Tesla GPU accelerators while minimizing power consumption, the servers bring new levels of energy-efficient performance for compute-intensive data analytics, deep learning and scientific applications."
The first offering is the SYS-7048GR-TR, 4U Dual Processor GPU SuperWorkstation with 4-Way GeForce SLI Support.
GTC 2015 - Walking around at NVIDIA GTC 2015 you could not help but notice the 16x GPU Compute Accelerator from One Stop Systems. These external GPU accelerators are used in applications like seismic modeling, trading algorithms and research.
The showstopper is One Stop Systems High Density Compute Accelerator (HDCA), which can accommodate up to 16 NVIDIA Tesla K80s. This beast of a machine includes dual redundant 6,000watt PSUss to power all those GPUss. The interface for these systems is One Stop Systems PCIe expansion card, which is used to connect One Stops Systems to a host machine to expand its GPU capabilities.
One Stop Systems feature smaller GPU boxes called "The Cube". These boxes expand a systems GPU capability by using OSS's PCIe expansion card and come in many different sized boxes from the pCUBE with 1x GPU all the way up to The CUBE3 supporting 8x GPUs.
This massive stockpile of components will all be slotted nicely together in order to cool the NNSA's first Advanced Simulation and Computing Program's product - named the Trinity Supercomputer.
All of this gear is called 'warm-water cooling' and it's what you'd expect in order to provide an energy-saving alternative for some of the world's most advanced tech.
An explanation from the Los Alamos National Labarotory reads: "The Trinity supercomputer is the first of the NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing program's advanced technology systems. Once installed, Trinity will be the first platform large and fast enough to begin to accommodate finely resolved 3D calculations for full-scale, end-to-end weapons calculations. But the installation of such a powerful supercomputer is no small task." But wait, there's more! "In order to accommodate Trinity, the SCC first had to undergo a series of major mechanical and electrical infrastructure upgrades. Because energy conservation is a priority at Los Alamos, these upgrades included a shift to warm water cooling technology (which will result in a major energy savings), as well as a decrease in the use of city/well water for cooling towers.."
Microsoft pleased the world at large by announcing a free upgrade to Windows 10 for consumers with Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. Unfortunately, Microsoft will not be extending that same offer to enterprise users.
Microsoft has released a statement on the issue, "Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise are not included in the terms of free Windows 10 Upgrade offer we announced last week, given active Software Assurance customers will continue to have rights to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer - while also benefitting from the full flexibility to deploy Windows 10 using their existing management infrastructure."
Intel is refreshing their datacenter SSD line with new models that deliver faster write performance than their predecessors. The Intel DC S3710 Series provides 25% more write performance, topping out at 45,000 random write IOPS for the 1.2TB model. The DC S3710 SSDs come in capacities of 200, 400, 800, and 1.2TB. Random read performance weighs in at 85,000 IOPS, and sequential read weighs in at 550MB/s. Sequential writes vary by capacity points, reaching a top speed of 520MB/s. The DC S3710 is geared for high-performance computing, high data rate analytics, operational databases, and large-scale virtualization.
The Intel DC S3610 Series addresses the exploding mid-level performance tier, while offering faster random write speed with an economical price point. The DC S3610 comes in wide range of capacities, with 200, 400, 480, 800GB, and 1.2TB models in the 2.5" form factor. Random read tops out at 84,000 IOPS, and varying write performance (based upon capacity) reaches up to 28,000 IOPS. Sequential read comes in at 550MB/s, and sequential write performance reaches 520MB/s (depending upon capacity). The DC S3610 series also offers capacities of 200, 400, and 800GB in the incredibly small 1.8" form factor, but performance specifications for the 1.8" haven't been released as of yet.