Mainframe Computer Technology

Supercomputers are used by the Government, the Military, Academia and Industry for anything from modeling of environmental, astronomical and physics applications to space shuttle systems or data storage, health and medicine.

Supercluster in the news, a recent Computerworld article .

In the world of Supercomputing, “the word Supercluster comes from clustering which relates to Supercomputers being woven together through racks of smaller servers through thousands of high speed links”-(cnet article). This can be done with any platform but today many references point to Linux Open Source.

In the private sector there is a European company called Revenge that sells product called Supercluster. Cray the Supercomputer giant has trademarked, “Cray SuperCluster”.

At the heart of today’s cluster technolgy is Linux open source and a good resource of information is the site. There is a basic clustering encyclopedia for terms and other information.

The U.S. Army is into the Supercluster business using the Apple/COLSA team in order to more efficiently model hypersonic flight. In a 2005 MacDailyNews article, “The Hypersonic Missle Team (HMT), now has access to one of the world’s largest and most powerful computers: a supercluster of 1,566 64-bit, dual processor Apple Xserve G5 servers”.

NASA’s COLUMBIA SUPERCOMPUTER – among other interesting doucuments, the Columbia site has and article about how the Columbia Supercluster was built.

Maui High Performance Computing Center – The JAWS SYSTEM provides computing to various communities.

With Apple’s improved OS X Snow Leopard, and native 64 bit multiprocessor architecture computer processing will be growing even more powerful.

Northrop Grumman created a massive supercluster with a $150 million dollar budget and a staff of 550 people and more than 6,000 CPUS! This huge amount of processing power can be used for modeling, simulation and analysis excercises, or processing image or environmental data from satellite arrays. See the Computer World article.

The website is dedicated to traking the world’s most powerful computers. They publish a top 10 list. Today’s most powerful computer is the Roadrunner Supercluster which is at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.


photo credits: NASA NAS, Las Alamos National Laboratory