SUN’S FULL MOON SERVER SOFTWARE RISING IN DECEMBER

October 27, 2000

COMMERCIAL NEWS

San Diego, CALIF. — Stephen Shankland reports that Sun Microsystems will release important but delayed server software Dec. 5, addressing a weakness in its effort to shape its products to ever-higher computing demands.

Sun will announce “Full Moon,” the code name for SunCluster 3.0 software for sharing jobs across several servers, said Andy Ingram, head of marketing for Sun’s Solaris operating system. It’s part of the company’s effort to allow customers to run their own software while freeing them from worrying about the hardware it’s running on, he said.

It’s taken a long time for Sun to coax Full Moon to rise, however. The project has been five years in the making, Ingram said.

“Originally, the plan was to bring it out on Solaris 7, but the decision was made to bring it out on Solaris 8 instead,” Ingram said. “That put about seven to nine months into the schedule.”

In the meantime, Sun has been relying on SunCluster 2.2, a product that most analysts agreed didn’t live up to Sun’s aggressive efforts to position itself as the prime purveyor of high-end servers with stratospheric price tags and dozens of processors. These computers run bank databases, mammoth manufacturing operations and other jobs that demand around-the-clock uptime.

Clustering software, which shares computing jobs among a group of computers, has been one way to ensure that computing services remain running and available to those who need them. But Sun isn’t the only one pushing the clustering concept.

Sun, though the dominant seller of Unix servers, doesn’t have much of a track record in clustering compared with those of some competitors. Compaq Computer, with its OpenVMS and Tru64 Unix operating systems and its ultra-high-end Tandem computer, has long been a respected force in clustering software. And Santa Cruz Operation, though financially struggling, benefited from some of Compaq’s expertise in developing its NonStop Cluster software for its UnixWare operating system.

Newcomers also hope to keep Sun from conquering the market. Microsoft has been trying for years to develop clustering software, and its newest Windows 2000 Datacenter version can run tasks in clusters with as many as four nodes.

Linux, which shares Solaris’ Unix roots, also is a new domain for clustering as Linux slowly becomes more mature and better able to take advantage of high-end server features.

Red Hat, the top Linux seller, has launched its own foray into clustering software. Mission Critical Linux lured many Compaq employees to its effort. Steeleye has its own product, LifeKeeper. And Caldera Systems’ acquisition of Santa Cruz Operation hints that SCO’s clustering software might come to Linux as well.

Ingram acknowledged the weakness of SunCluster 2.2. “We were investing…effort in 3.0 rather than continuing to flesh out all the feature sets of 2.2,” he said.

Sun’s customers also have been relying on software company Veritas to provide file system support needed for these high-end systems. Support for Veritas’ VXFS and Sun’s UFS file systems will continue with version 3.0.

With 3.0 comes a new, more modular philosophy, though. Sun is separating the job the server runs from the network connections on one hand and the data storage system on the other, Ingram said.

This change makes it easier for several computers, or several partitions of one computer, to share network and storage resources, and therefore makes it easier to move jobs around from one node in a cluster to another, he said. In addition, each node on the cluster shares the same Internet address, he said.

“I can put a process anywhere on the cluster. If I move it from node A to node B, the cluster understands,” he said.

That ease of movement also is key to guaranteeing that a server can meet increasing computing demands. If a task suddenly requires vastly increased computing power, other nodes in a cluster can quickly be called upon to handle the load.

Sun also is boasting that it’s easier to administer the new version, Ingram said. For example, it takes about a minute and a half for a customer to register a software job with the cluster, he said.

SunCluster 3.0 ties more deeply into the operating system, Ingram said, shortening the “failover” delay when one computer takes over for another. One server monitoring the health of another now can tell within 10 seconds or less whether it needs to take the reins, a process that took about 90 seconds with version 2.2.

And as expected, SunCluster 3.0 increases the number of computers that can make up a cluster from four to eight, he said, meaning that there are more backup computers to pick up the load in case one server fails.

Sun’s clustering software is only half of the company’s new “software-as-a-service” philosophy. The other half is another future software product called iChange, which lets companies manage large numbers of servers that all share the same task, Ingram said. iChange lets administrators easily try out new software and spread updates to all the servers of a certain category, he said.

============================================================

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Mira Supercomputer Enables Cancer Research Breakthrough

November 11, 2019

Dynamic partial-wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy allows researchers to observe intracellular structures as small as 20 nanometers – smaller than those visible by optical microscopes – in three dimensions at a mill Read more…

By Staff report

IBM Adds Support for Ion Trap Quantum Technology to Qiskit

November 11, 2019

After years of percolating in the shadow of quantum computing research based on superconducting semiconductors – think IBM, Rigetti, Google, and D-Wave (quantum annealing) – ion trap technology is edging into the QC Read more…

By John Russell

Tackling HPC’s Memory and I/O Bottlenecks with On-Node, Non-Volatile RAM

November 8, 2019

On-node, non-volatile memory (NVRAM) is a game-changing technology that can remove many I/O and memory bottlenecks and provide a key enabler for exascale. That’s the conclusion drawn by the scientists and researcher Read more…

By Jan Rowell

What’s New in HPC Research: Cosmic Magnetism, Cryptanalysis, Car Navigation & More

November 8, 2019

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Machine Learning Fuels a Booming HPC Market

November 7, 2019

Enterprise infrastructure investments for training machine learning models have grown more than 50 percent annually over the past two years, and are expected to shortly surpass $10 billion, according to a new market fore Read more…

By George Leopold

AWS Solution Channel

Making High Performance Computing Affordable and Accessible for Small and Medium Businesses with HPC on AWS

High performance computing (HPC) brings a powerful set of tools to a broad range of industries, helping to drive innovation and boost revenue in finance, genomics, oil and gas extraction, and other fields. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Atom by Atom, Supercomputers Shed Light on Alloys

November 7, 2019

Alloys are at the heart of human civilization, but developing alloys in the Information Age is much different than it was in the Bronze Age. Trial-by-error smelting has given way to the use of high-performance computing Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

IBM Adds Support for Ion Trap Quantum Technology to Qiskit

November 11, 2019

After years of percolating in the shadow of quantum computing research based on superconducting semiconductors – think IBM, Rigetti, Google, and D-Wave (quant Read more…

By John Russell

Tackling HPC’s Memory and I/O Bottlenecks with On-Node, Non-Volatile RAM

November 8, 2019

On-node, non-volatile memory (NVRAM) is a game-changing technology that can remove many I/O and memory bottlenecks and provide a key enabler for exascale. Th Read more…

By Jan Rowell

MLPerf Releases First Inference Benchmark Results; Nvidia Touts its Showing

November 6, 2019

MLPerf.org, the young AI-benchmarking consortium, today issued the first round of results for its inference test suite. Among organizations with submissions wer Read more…

By John Russell

Azure Cloud First with AMD Epyc Rome Processors

November 6, 2019

At Ignite 2019 this week, Microsoft's Azure cloud team and AMD announced an expansion of their partnership that began in 2017 when Azure debuted Epyc-backed ins Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Launches Credit Card-Sized 21 TOPS Jetson System for Edge Devices

November 6, 2019

Nvidia has launched a new addition to its Jetson product line: a credit card-sized (70x45mm) form factor delivering up to 21 trillion operations/second (TOPS) o Read more…

By Doug Black

In Memoriam: Steve Tuecke, Globus Co-founder

November 4, 2019

HPCwire is deeply saddened to report that Steve Tuecke, longtime scientist at Argonne National Lab and University of Chicago, has passed away at age 52. Tuecke Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Spending Spree: Hyperscalers Bought $57B of IT in 2018, $10B+ by Google – But Is Cloud on Horizon?

October 31, 2019

Hyperscalers are the masters of the IT universe, gravitational centers of increasing pull in the emerging age of data-driven compute and AI.  In the high-stake Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray Debuts ClusterStor E1000 Finishing Remake of Portfolio for ‘Exascale Era’

October 30, 2019

Cray, now owned by HPE, today introduced the ClusterStor E1000 storage platform, which leverages Cray software and mixes hard disk drives (HDD) and flash memory Read more…

By John Russell

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Using AI to Solve One of the Most Prevailing Problems in CFD

October 17, 2019

How can artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) solve mesh generation, one of the most commonly referenced problems in computational engineering? A new study has set out to answer this question and create an industry-first AI-mesh application... Read more…

By James Sharpe

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave’s Path to 5000 Qubits; Google’s Quantum Supremacy Claim

September 24, 2019

On the heels of IBM’s quantum news last week come two more quantum items. D-Wave Systems today announced the name of its forthcoming 5000-qubit system, Advantage (yes the name choice isn’t serendipity), at its user conference being held this week in Newport, RI. Read more…

By John Russell

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Crystal Ball Gazing: IBM’s Vision for the Future of Computing

October 14, 2019

Dario Gil, IBM’s relatively new director of research, painted a intriguing portrait of the future of computing along with a rough idea of how IBM thinks we’ Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Intel Confirms Retreat on Omni-Path

August 1, 2019

Intel Corp.’s plans to make a big splash in the network fabric market for linking HPC and other workloads has apparently belly-flopped. The chipmaker confirmed to us the outlines of an earlier report by the website CRN that it has jettisoned plans for a second-generation version of its Omni-Path interconnect... Read more…

By Staff report

Kubernetes, Containers and HPC

September 19, 2019

Software containers and Kubernetes are important tools for building, deploying, running and managing modern enterprise applications at scale and delivering enterprise software faster and more reliably to the end user — while using resources more efficiently and reducing costs. Read more…

By Daniel Gruber, Burak Yenier and Wolfgang Gentzsch, UberCloud

Dell Ramps Up HPC Testing of AMD Rome Processors

October 21, 2019

Dell Technologies is wading deeper into the AMD-based systems market with a growing evaluation program for the latest Epyc (Rome) microprocessors from AMD. In a Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated mo Read more…

By John Russell

Rise of NIH’s Biowulf Mirrors the Rise of Computational Biology

July 29, 2019

The story of NIH’s supercomputer Biowulf is fascinating, important, and in many ways representative of the transformation of life sciences and biomedical res Read more…

By John Russell

Xilinx vs. Intel: FPGA Market Leaders Launch Server Accelerator Cards

August 6, 2019

The two FPGA market leaders, Intel and Xilinx, both announced new accelerator cards this week designed to handle specialized, compute-intensive workloads and un Read more…

By Doug Black

With the Help of HPC, Astronomers Prepare to Deflect a Real Asteroid

September 26, 2019

For years, NASA has been running simulations of asteroid impacts to understand the risks (and likelihoods) of asteroids colliding with Earth. Now, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are preparing for the next, crucial step in planetary defense against asteroid impacts: physically deflecting a real asteroid. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

When Dense Matrix Representations Beat Sparse

September 9, 2019

In our world filled with unintended consequences, it turns out that saving memory space to help deal with GPU limitations, knowing it introduces performance pen Read more…

By James Reinders

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This