High Performance Computing Clusters

Intel is running an internal pilot program to show that workstations can be clustered together to give businesses and institutions access to High Performance Computing (HPC) levels of compute power that normally they would not have.

The concept would give HPC power to businesses and researchers whose workloads demand high compute power but who lack the funding for, or access to, such environments. These users are known as the “missing middle.”

The pilot is being conducted with some 200 engineers on the company’s silicon design team, who are located at multiple sites worldwide. Not every site has access to a data center. The problems that arise are ones of latency and space. As the workloads grow, more pressure is put on the data centers. In addition, with the kind of work the designers do, latency of 10 milliseconds or more can have a significant negative impact on the work.

When the servers in the data center start hitting capacity, the natural trend is to build more space, he said. And the latency is always a worry.

For the past six months, the team has been working on a concept that Intel executives call CCC, or cube clustered computing. Traditionally, engineers use high-end laptops to access back-end blade servers. In the CCC pilot, workstations are configured to the exact specifications as the servers. Those workstations are placed in each cubicle and secured so there can be no physical access.

The engineers then access the compute power of the workstations, housed locally, rather than servers that are in data centers farther away. At the same time, the workstations can be combined into a clustered environment, giving the engineers the compute power they need. The data storage is still done in the data centers, for security reasons, but the compute power is in the workstations. The systems support the IPMI management specification and can be managed remotely.

For more, read the eWeek article Intel Pushes Workstation Clusters for HPC Needs of “Missing Middle.”.

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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