Editor’s Pick: Cray CX1000 Supercomputer Supports New 7500 Processor
Rack-mounted HPCs available in three compute configurations; new Intel 7500 processor supported.
March 31, 2010
By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Many moons ago, all you had to say was “Cray” and, like saying Xerox for photocopy, you had defined mainframe computing, which roughly meant what we call a data center these days. Today, when you say “Cray,” you’re still talking about supercomputers. Only now, you could mean a personal supercomputer residing at your deskside and powering a workgroup or a supercomputer that is the nerve center for a engineering company. Cray’s new Cray CX1000 series adds two new definitions supercomputing: hybrid supercomputing architecture and next generation.
The rack-mounted Cray CX1000 line of high-performance computing (HPC) systems start with what Cray calls a hybrid supercomputing architecture. That kind of means it has “multi-purpose” architecture. But forget what you know about multi-purpose being a code word for general purpose. What they’re talking about is an architecture that lets you move-in components so that you have a supercomputer for your unique compute-intensive workflows. So, there’s a core version that’s tailored for cluster environments and another for graphics-intensive work. But what you really do is make the CX1000 HPC system fit and serve your process rather than modify your process to fit the computer.
And now there’s the CX1000-S, the newest member of the line and the definition of next generation.
The Cray CX1000-S, announced yesterday, is designed to take you up to wherever you need to go. This next generation HPC system is built around Intel’s Xeon 7500 series processors, which launched just yesterday as well. These multicore processors offer high-speed interconnects between memory and components so that users get the highest performance and reliability possible. More importantly, the processors and the CX-1000-S are designed to scale up, growing with you rather than stalling out as your needs grow. And since Cray – aggressively in my point of view – strives to make maintenance, upgradability, and usability as straightforward and simple as possible, the CX-1000-S is the server that will be the backbone of your organization for years to come.
In some ways, today’s Pick of the Week write-up reminds me of the title of that movie “Back to the Future.” We’ve seen the big mainframes that everybody connected to reduced to the lone engineering workstation. But then we saw engineers doing what they do: Max out the workstation with more and more complex work. The need to support the engineering and scientific workforce has been the heritage of Cray since its inception. With its new CX1000 product line, Cray stays true to its heritage while making the future of HPC systems available in the present.
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering