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Los Alamos Lab to Get Another Linux Supercomputer

Los Alamos Lab to Get Another Linux Supercomputer

Linux cluster specialist Linux NetworX has landed a $6 million contract for a 10-teraflop Linux supercomputer for the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Dubbed the "Scientific Appliance" by the lab's researchers, the cluster is to be used as an experimental system strictly for unclassified work. It's expected to serve as a prototype for future supercomputers so simulation and visualization can be used to maintain the aging US nuclear weapons stockpile and not underground testing.

The thing will take 2,048 Xeon 2.4GHz processors, 2.1TB of memory, a Linux-BIOS on all 1,024 nodes and have a speed of 10 trillion operations a second.

Los Alamos developed the Linux-BIOS as an open source BIOS alternative with contributions from Linux NetworX and others to make clusters easier to install and manage.

LinuxBIOS lets each node operate without a hard disk. The absence of disks cuts the number of components in the system that can fail or generate heat and is said to significantly boost system reliability.

When delivered, the Linux NetworX Evolocity cluster is expected to be the largest system ever to deploy the Linux-BIOS on diskless nodes and one of the five fastest supercomputers in the world.

"Scalable supercomputing systems that run proprietary operating systems clearly are a thing of the past," said Los Alamos Computer and Computational Sciences Division leader Bill Feiereisen.

Los Alamos researchers plan to use the experimental system to improve the open source software environment, parallel file systems and ancillary OS software for future classified supercomputers.

Salt Lake City-based Linux NetworX is to deliver the system in Q4.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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