Cray Adds CX1000 to HPC Portfolio

By Michael Feldman

March 24, 2010

Cray has introduced a new line of entry- and mid-level HPC systems, making good on its promise to fill the gap between its CX1 deskside systems and XT mini-supers. Called the CX1000, the new machine makes use of the latest Intel Xeon processors and, from a performance standpoint, picks up where the CX1 leaves off. Cray intends to leverage its existing CX1 ecosystem of more than 40 channel partners to sell and support the new product line.

While conceptually similar to the blade design of the CX1 deskside machine, the CX1000 is delivered in a more traditional chassis form factor and is designed to be installed in the typical datacenter environment, rather than the office. The CX1 theme of making high performance computing more a turnkey kind of experience is the same though. Like its CX1 predecessor, the CX1000 comes preinstalled with an integrated OS/cluster management stack, in this case, either Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008 or a combo of Linux Red Hat plus the Cray Cluster Manager. Configurations of one to four chassis can be built, with prices that ranges from under $100,000 for a minimally-configured enclosure, up to around $700,000 for a full cabinet with high-end options.

Cray’s rationale for the CX1000 line is two-fold: offer an upgrade path from its CX1 line and provide a choice of architectures that are currently most favored by HPC customers. CX1, you’ll remember, was positioned as a product that could transition technical workstation users into the world of HPC mini-clusters. According to Ian Miller, Cray’s senior VP of the Productivity Solutions Group and Marketing, it just made sense to expand the CX family beyond the 8-blade limit of the CX1. According to him, the CX1000 will meet the needs of customers looking for additional computational power, but who don’t require the supercomputing capability of an XT machine.

To cover its architectural bases, Cray offers three models: a scale-up cluster (CX1000-C), a GPU-accelerated cluster (CX1000-G), and a scale-out SMP-type machine (CX1000-S). We’ll take these in order.

The CX1000-C fills the role of the standard entry-level cluster for distributed memory-style HPC. The C model comes in a 7U chassis that can house up to 16 dual-socket blades, where the sockets are populated by Intel Xeon 5600 series (“Westmere EP”) parts. Processor choices include both the 6-core and 4-core versions, but all running at under 3 GHz. (The top-of-the-line 130 watt Westmere parts are not an option here since these would tend to run too hot for the dense blade design.) QDR InfiniBand is used for the system interconnect, with an optional Ethernet switch available for connecting to an external network.

The CX1000-G is the GPU-accelerated variation of the C model. The double wide blades pair two Westmere EP chips with two NVIDIA Tesla modules, with a dedicated I/O hub for each CPU-GPU pair. The description on the Cray Web site specifies the current M1060 Tesla module, but since NVIDIA is expected to ship the new Fermi products in Q2, most users will probably hold out for souped-up GPUs. Since the blades are double wide, only eight blades will fit in the 7U chassis. That’s nothing to scoff at though. With Fermi parts, a fully-populated enclosure should deliver in the neighborhood of 10 double precision teraflops.

The CX1000-S is the odd one out. This model implements a mid-range SMP machine and is designed for non-distributed, big memory applications, such as electronic design automation (EDA). Most of the specs for the CX1000-S are still forthcoming, but Cray has divulged each node can house up to 128 cores and will make use of Intel’s QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) technology. That almost certainly means the CX1000-S will be using Intel’s 8-core Nehalem EX chips, which are expected to be released on March 30. Since Nehalem EX only supports eight sockets natively, Cray apparently has designed or repurposed a custom node controller to make a 16-socket (128 cores) machine possible.

As an aside, the introduction of the Westmere EP processor and the upcoming Nehalem EX and Fermi parts should encourage other vendors to expand their HPC portfolios as well. Thanks to the latter two chips in particular, SMP and GPU-accelerated computing now look much more attractive from a price-performance perspective than they ever have in the past. System makers should be able to build relatively-powerful SMP machines and GPU clusters for well under a million dollars, as Cray has done with the CX1000.

It’s not just about adding new platforms, though. Miller says it’s possible to mix and match the different CX1000 models into a single cabinet, depending on application needs. Both the Cray Cluster Manager (based on Platform Computing LSF technology) and Windows HPC Server are capable of provisioning these types of heterogenous environments. Dual booting is also supported, so Windows and Linux apps can be accommodated in the same system. In conjunction with that capability, Cray is working with ISVs to help port popular technical computing software onto these platforms so that customers can bring their codes with them. The ultimate goal, says Miller, is to “create a package for entry- to mid-range customers that helps them get productive quickly.”

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!

Cray Introduces All Flash Lustre Storage Solution Targeting HPC

June 19, 2018

Citing the rise of IOPS-intensive workflows and more affordable flash technology, Cray today introduced the L300F, a scalable all-flash storage solution whose primary use case is to support high IOPS rates to/from a scra Read more…

By John Russell

Lenovo to Debut ‘Neptune’ Cooling Technologies at ISC ‘18

June 19, 2018

Lenovo today announced a set of cooling technologies, dubbed Neptune, that include direct to node (DTN) warm water cooling, rear door heat exchanger (RDHX), and hybrid solutions that combine air and liquid cooling. Lenov Read more…

By John Russell

World Cup is Lame Compared to This Competition

June 18, 2018

So you think World Cup soccer is a big deal? While I’m sure it’s very compelling to watch a bunch of athletes kick a ball around, World Cup misses the boat because it doesn’t include teams putting together their ow Read more…

By Dan Olds

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC and AI Convergence is Accelerating New Levels of Intelligence

Data analytics is the most valuable tool in the digital marketplace – so much so that organizations are employing high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to rapidly collect, share, and analyze endless streams of data. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Banks Boost Infrastructure to Tackle GDPR

As banks become more digital and data-driven, their IT managers are challenged with fast growing data volumes and lines-of-businesses’ (LoBs’) seemingly limitless appetite for analytics. Read more…

IBM Demonstrates Deep Neural Network Training with Analog Memory Devices

June 18, 2018

From smarter, more personalized apps to seemingly-ubiquitous Google Assistant and Alexa devices, AI adoption is showing no signs of slowing down – and yet, the hardware used for AI is far from perfect. Currently, GPUs Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray Introduces All Flash Lustre Storage Solution Targeting HPC

June 19, 2018

Citing the rise of IOPS-intensive workflows and more affordable flash technology, Cray today introduced the L300F, a scalable all-flash storage solution whose p Read more…

By John Russell

Sandia to Take Delivery of World’s Largest Arm System

June 18, 2018

While the enterprise remains circumspect on prospects for Arm servers in the datacenter, the leadership HPC community is taking a bolder, brighter view of the x86 server CPU alternative. Amongst current and planned Arm HPC installations – i.e., the innovative Mont-Blanc project, led by Bull/Atos, the 'Isambard’ Cray XC50 going into the University of Bristol, and commitments from both Japan and France among others -- HPE is announcing that it will be supply the United States National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with a 2.3 petaflops peak Arm-based system, named Astra. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Machine Learning Hype Cycle and HPC

June 14, 2018

Like many other HPC professionals I’m following the hype cycle around machine learning/deep learning with interest. I subscribe to the view that we’re probably approaching the ‘peak of inflated expectation’ but not quite yet starting the descent into the ‘trough of disillusionment. This still raises the probability that... Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

Xiaoxiang Zhu Receives the 2018 PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC

June 13, 2018

Xiaoxiang Zhu, who works for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Technical University of Munich (TUM), was awarded the 2018 PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC for her outstanding contributions in the field of high performance computing (HPC) in Europe. Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

U.S Considering Launch of National Quantum Initiative

June 11, 2018

Sometime this month the U.S. House Science Committee will introduce legislation to launch a 10-year National Quantum Initiative, according to a recent report by Read more…

By John Russell

ORNL Summit Supercomputer Is Officially Here

June 8, 2018

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) together with IBM and Nvidia celebrated the official unveiling of the Department of Energy (DOE) Summit supercomputer toda Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Exascale USA – Continuing to Move Forward

June 6, 2018

The end of May 2018, saw several important events that continue to advance the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Exascale Computing Initiative (ECI) for the United Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Exascale for the Rest of Us: Exaflops Systems Capable for Industry

June 6, 2018

Enterprise advanced scale computing – or HPC in the enterprise – is an entity unto itself, situated between (and with characteristics of) conventional enter Read more…

By Doug Black

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ORNL Summit Supercomputer Is Officially Here

June 8, 2018

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) together with IBM and Nvidia celebrated the official unveiling of the Department of Energy (DOE) Summit supercomputer toda Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Wins $57 Million DoD Supercomputing Contract

February 20, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today revealed details of its massive $57 million HPC contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The deal calls for HP Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17

Altair

AMD @ SC17

AMD

ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack

CEJN @ SC17

CEJN

DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17

Huawei

IBM @ SC17

IBM

IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17

Intel

Lenovo @ SC17

Lenovo

Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17

Microsoft

Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17

Supericro

Tyan @ SC17

Tyan

Univa @ SC17

Univa

Hennessy & Patterson: A New Golden Age for Computer Architecture

April 17, 2018

On Monday June 4, 2018, 2017 A.M. Turing Award Winners John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson will deliver the Turing Lecture at the 45th International Sympo Read more…

By Staff

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google I/O 2018: AI Everywhere; TPU 3.0 Delivers 100+ Petaflops but Requires Liquid Cooling

May 9, 2018

All things AI dominated discussion at yesterday’s opening of Google’s I/O 2018 developers meeting covering much of Google's near-term product roadmap. The e Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Pattern Computer – Startup Claims Breakthrough in ‘Pattern Discovery’ Technology

May 23, 2018

If it weren’t for the heavy-hitter technology team behind start-up Pattern Computer, which emerged from stealth today in a live-streamed event from San Franci Read more…

By John Russell

Part One: Deep Dive into 2018 Trends in Life Sciences HPC

March 1, 2018

Life sciences is an interesting lens through which to see HPC. It is perhaps not an obvious choice, given life sciences’ relative newness as a heavy user of H Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Pledges First Commercial Nervana Product ‘Spring Crest’ in 2019

May 24, 2018

At its AI developer conference in San Francisco yesterday, Intel embraced a holistic approach to AI and showed off a broad AI portfolio that includes Xeon processors, Movidius technologies, FPGAs and Intel’s Nervana Neural Network Processors (NNPs), based on the technology it acquired in 2016. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Charts Two-Dimensional Quantum Course

April 26, 2018

Quantum error correction, essential for achieving universal fault-tolerant quantum computation, is one of the main challenges of the quantum computing field and it’s top of mind for Google’s John Martinis. At a presentation last week at the HPC User Forum in Tucson, Martinis, one of the world's foremost experts in quantum computing, emphasized... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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