Lawrence Livermore National Lab is putting together a supercomputer that will boast nearly the same performance as the ASCII White system from IBM Corp. that the lab now uses but it promises to be 10 times cheaper. Called Evolocity, the system will be the fastest clustered supercomputer in the world, according to Lawrence Livermore.
At around 11 teraflops, the system will not be as fast as the IBM machine, which ranks as one of the world's fastest computers. But it will be far easier on the pocketbook, thanks to the use of off-the-shelf components and the open-source Linux operating system.
The system has a few unique features that the lab says will facilitate applications performance, including a fast, custom-made network that taps into an enterprisewide file system. "We have been using the File Transfer Protocol over Gigabit Ethernet, but now we will be able to read files directly from any available disk," said Mark Seager, assistant department head for terascale systems at the lab.