Sugon VP on Global Market Strategy, the VMware Venture and Robotic Immersive Cooling

By Tiffany Trader

November 18, 2015

One of the dominant themes of the latest TOP500 edition, released Monday in time for the opening of the SC15 show in Austin, was China’s leap in list share by number of systems; and one of the companies that has been pivotal in this push is Sugon (formerly Dawning). Sugon (the name means Super Dragon) and its primary Chinese competitor Inspur both have a strong presence at SC this year and both also have a targeted US focused go-to-market strategy, but Sugon has a unique challenge in that it is in the process of throwing back its academic and government cloak and stepping out into the Web-scale and enterprise light.

For most of its 20-year history, Sugon, a big HPC system builder for mainly government research installations, wasn’t commercialized; it was focused on key industries for the nation: science development, university research and strategic uses. At an interview in their booth on Monday, Sugon’s Vice President Joshua Wang explained that after Sugon was listed in the stock market one year ago, a mandate was handed down from the company’s primary shareholder (with a 33 percent stake), the Chinese Academy of Sciences: to start increasing commercial presence within China, while simultaneously expanding into the world-wide market. Wang said that the company launched this go-aboard program on the first of April and they have put together a complete team for the international market effort.

Sugon’s overarching strategy has some similarities to the IBM OpenPOWER play to crack the x86 juggernaut, but with a lot more control, which tends to be the Chinese way, and more right now due to a series of occurrences that have raised tensions in the political sphere. As part of a plan it calls “Open and Invest,” Sugon is availing its technology to its partners, and leveraging their distribution channels and servicing infrastructure to get into the global market. Sugon says it will control the technology and branding from the very beginning, essentially taking an investor position. With a steam roller approach, the company is already headed into neighboring economic regions: Southeast Asia first and then Russia. Wang recounts a solidified relationship with ECS Holdings Limited in Singapore that has resulted in their first external win with Macau University, which bought a 1,200-node system. Having the support aspects in place was critical to closing the deal, Wang said. Sugon is also partnering with Russia’s third-largest integrator, RRC, and that is ramping up.

The newly-commercialized company is also bringing in partnerships into China. As part of its push into the hyperscale cloud space, Sugon recently signed a major joint venture with VMware that facilitates their enterprise/Web push, and gives them some cash to boot. Note that Sugon’s “Open and Invest” approach is very similar to how VMware is penetrating China, but with a twist because Sugon maintains control over branding at home and abroad. It’s worth mentioning that VMware also has a major partnership selling into China through Inspur servers, so VMware is gaining market share and covering its bases.

Meet the Products

The major product area that Sugon’s new efforts are focusing on is HPC and the major industry is hyper-scale — the BATQ companies in their shorthand — meaning Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and QQ. Now that these partnerships are starting to coalesce providing them with distribution channels and service solutions, Sugon has been able to start bidding for some of the projects outside China. The strategy is starting in the areas they identified (SE China and Russia), but they plan to duplicate it to sell into larger geographic areas and into HPC as well. In the year ahead, Sugon’s focus will be on HPC, hyperscale — and preparing their local team to roll-out this complete global strategy.

Sugon TC4600E-LP liquid cooling blade system SC15
Sugon TC4600E-LP liquid cooling blade system

Sugon is using SC15 as a launch pad to let the HPC world know that they are ready to do business and have the end-to-end product set and related technologies for the markets they’ve identified.

At its booth, the team was showing off new pieces of a complete HPC and Web-scale focused hardware portfolio. This includes an innovative robotics-assisted liquid cooled solution, which will be covered below, and their TC4600E-LP liquid cooling blade system, which is a redesign of the air cooled TC4600E system (a core component of the Sugon 6000 series supercomputer).

The liquid-cooled blade system was designed to improve the energy efficiency of supercomputers to save the operational costs. The TC4600E that this is based on is Sugon’s 5th generation of blade system, one that is a core component of the Sugon 6000 series supercomputer. According to Sugon, TC4600E, which has a rack mount 5U chassis with 10x 2S blades per chassis, is “specially designed for HPC with high performance, high density, high reliability, low power consumption and wide applications.”

Now with LP, which has a rack mount 6U chassis with up to six chassis within a 42U rack cabinet, there is the option of having 10x 2S blades per chassis or 5x 2S heterogeneous blades plus 10x GPU or Intel Xeon Phi accelerators (Knights Corner installed, Knights landing coming  up). The cooling method relies on a mix of liquid and air cooling with the processor and accelerator cooled by liquid and other parts by air. Power consumption is listed as a maximum 4kW for routine blades, 5kW for heterogeneous blades, and the PUE is a reasonable 1.1 for liquid cooling part 1.6 for air cooling part — about 1.2 for entire blade system.

Features the company is touting include:

  • Energy Efficiency: reduces the power consumption of fan by 70 perecent and of air conditioning system by 80 percent, optimizes PUE to 1.2.
  • Reliability: effectively lowers the temperature of main components, which helps to extend system life.
  • Ultra Silence: within 45 dB due to very low fan speed.
  • High Performance: supports latest generation of Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors, GPU or Intel Xeon Phi accelerators, and FDR 56Gbps or EDR 100Gbps InfiniBand. Liquid cooling helps the frequency boost of processors and accelerators to gain an extra performance increase by 5 percent.
  • Simplicity: no additional requirements for server room.

One of these liquid-cooled blade systems is already inside a prototype of the next Earth System Numerical Simulator, which has been designed around around three pillars: earth system science innovation, global disaster alerts, environment protection and human and nature sustainable coexistence.

Rounding out the top of this portfolio on the server side, Sugon has a TC5600-H Rack-scale Blade System, which it is characterizing as “a new server architecture for HPC…that is designed by Sugon’s R&D to deliver high performance, low TCO, high efficient cooling, quick deployment and easy operation.”

The features check all the the HPC boxes too:

  • Latest generation of Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 family.
  • Latest EDR 100Gbps InfiniBand.
  • Up to 80 compute nodes (80+ TFLOPS) or 40 storage nodes (1.8+ PB)

Sugon TC5600-H Rack-scale blade system 2015

Sugon also offers both heterogeneous nodes as part of the Sugon 6000 series supercomputer that support the latest generation of most widely-used accelerators. “100 teraflops of performance per cabinet can be easily reached, and it scales up to 10-100 petaflops,” notes Sugon.

There’s also a Fat Nodes offering which features “outstanding single-node performance, extremely high memory capacity, ultra-high reliability to satisfy the needs of memory-hungry or mission-critical applications.” (Specs here.)

ParaStor200 Distributed Parallel Storage System, which is independently developed by Sugon’s R&D to handle massive data storage and processing needs, is storage server based and hardware-software integrated distributed parallel storage.

For system management, Sugon offers Gridview HPC Suite, an integrated monitoring, management and job scheduling software platform for HPC. Gridview is designed with several pluggable function modules that enables dynamic monitoring for the overall and detailed status of both computing center and cluster. Like much of their presented portfolio, this solution ticks all of the boxes that would be expected on a modern cluster management solution; capabilities include scheduling, accounting, workflow monitoring and Web portal functionality, but we’ll have to find some users to speak with before we get feedback on how this compares to other management software.

Robotic-assisted immersion server ejects motherboard like a CD drive

Sugon Robo blades immersion server SC15The piece of the Sugon portfolio that scored highest for cool factor would have to be their brand-new liquid cooling product, which aims to address much of the inconvenience of submerged cooling. Sugon’s “Robo blades immersion server” is being presented as the world’s first automated immersion server — enabling up to 30 blades in one 19″ chassis. I didn’t time exactly how long it took, but after the request was sent, the machine ejected a completely dry disk in less than five minutes. The mechanical arm goes into motion, grabs one of the vertical motherboards (or mainboards if you prefer), unplugs it, “dehydrates” it and spits it out a slot in the front — very much like a CD rom, only the process is understandably more time-consuming.

Sugon Robo blades immersion server top SC15 600xThe system uses a two stage approach: the 3M coolant removes the heat rapidly, and warm water is cool enough to make the vapor condense. Key advantages touted by the company include high power density, high-cooling efficiency, high-density motherboard disposition, as well as low PUE because the technology utilizes the latent heat of vaporization to heat transfer, reducing PUE to 1.01-1.02. Besides addressing maintenance concerns, the robotic arm automatically pulls out and inserts the motherboard. An isolating compartment behind the slot in the front minimizes coolant vapor loss. “Robo Blades” is also extremely quiet being a fan-free design; at 35 decibels, it comes off as effectively “noise-free” compared to traditional datacenter cooling equipment.

 

 

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!

NIST/Xanadu Researchers Report Photonic Quantum Computing Advance

March 3, 2021

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Xanadu, a young Canada-based quantum computing company, have reported developing a full-stack, photonic quantum computer able to carry out th Read more…

By John Russell

Can Deep Learning Replace Numerical Weather Prediction?

March 3, 2021

Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is a mainstay of supercomputing. Some of the first applications of the first supercomputers dealt with climate modeling, and even to this day, the largest climate models are heavily con Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPE Names Justin Hotard New HPC Chief as Pete Ungaro Departs

March 2, 2021

HPE CEO Antonio Neri announced today (March 2, 2020) the appointment of Justin Hotard as general manager of HPC, mission critical solutions and labs, effective immediately. Hotard replaces long-time Cray exec Pete Ungaro Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ORNL’s Jeffrey Vetter on How IRIS Runtime will Help Deal with Extreme Heterogeneity

March 2, 2021

Jeffery Vetter is a familiar figure in HPC. Last year he became one of the new section heads in a reorganization at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He had been founding director of ORNL's Future Technologies Group which i Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Career Notes: March 2021 Edition

March 1, 2021

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it’s a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we’ Read more…

By Mariana Iriarte

AWS Solution Channel

Moderna Accelerates COVID-19 Vaccine Development on AWS

Marcello Damiani, Chief Digital and Operational Excellence Officer at Moderna, joins Todd Weatherby, Vice President of AWS Professional Services Worldwide, for a discussion on developing Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, scaling systems to enable global distribution, and leveraging cloud technologies to accelerate processes. Read more…

Supercomputers Enable First Holistic Model of SARS-CoV-2, Showing Spike Proteins Move in Tandem

February 28, 2021

Most models of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, hone in on key features of the virus: for instance, the spike protein. Some of this is attributable to the relative importance of those features, but most Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Can Deep Learning Replace Numerical Weather Prediction?

March 3, 2021

Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is a mainstay of supercomputing. Some of the first applications of the first supercomputers dealt with climate modeling, and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPE Names Justin Hotard New HPC Chief as Pete Ungaro Departs

March 2, 2021

HPE CEO Antonio Neri announced today (March 2, 2020) the appointment of Justin Hotard as general manager of HPC, mission critical solutions and labs, effective Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ORNL’s Jeffrey Vetter on How IRIS Runtime will Help Deal with Extreme Heterogeneity

March 2, 2021

Jeffery Vetter is a familiar figure in HPC. Last year he became one of the new section heads in a reorganization at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He had been f Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Career Notes: March 2021 Edition

March 1, 2021

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it Read more…

By Mariana Iriarte

African Supercomputing Center Inaugurates ‘Toubkal,’ Most Powerful Supercomputer on the Continent

February 25, 2021

Historically, Africa hasn’t exactly been synonymous with supercomputing. There are only a handful of supercomputers on the continent, with few ranking on the Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Japan to Debut Integrated Fujitsu HPC/AI Supercomputer This Spring

February 25, 2021

The integrated Fujitsu HPC/AI Supercomputer, Wisteria, is coming to Japan this spring. The University of Tokyo is preparing to deploy a heterogeneous computing Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Xilinx Launches Alveo SN1000 SmartNIC

February 24, 2021

FPGA vendor Xilinx has debuted its latest SmartNIC model, the Alveo SN1000, with integrated “composability” features that allow enterprise users to add their own custom networking functions to supplement its built-in networking. By providing deep flexibility... Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

ASF Keynotes Showcase How HPC and Big Data Have Pervaded the Pandemic

February 24, 2021

Last Thursday, a range of experts joined the Advanced Scale Forum (ASF) in a rapid-fire roundtable to discuss how advanced technologies have transformed the way humanity responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in indelible ways. The roundtable, held near the one-year mark of the first... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

By John Russell

Esperanto Unveils ML Chip with Nearly 1,100 RISC-V Cores

December 8, 2020

At the RISC-V Summit today, Art Swift, CEO of Esperanto Technologies, announced a new, RISC-V based chip aimed at machine learning and containing nearly 1,100 low-power cores based on the open-source RISC-V architecture. Esperanto Technologies, headquartered in... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Azure Scaled to Record 86,400 Cores for Molecular Dynamics

November 20, 2020

A new record for HPC scaling on the public cloud has been achieved on Microsoft Azure. Led by Dr. Jer-Ming Chia, the cloud provider partnered with the Beckman I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

By Tracey Bryant

NICS Unleashes ‘Kraken’ Supercomputer

April 4, 2008

A Cray XT4 supercomputer, dubbed Kraken, is scheduled to come online in mid-summer at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS). The soon-to-be petascale system, and the resulting NICS organization, are the result of an NSF Track II award of $65 million to the University of Tennessee and its partners to provide next-generation supercomputing for the nation's science community. Read more…

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Top500: Fugaku Keeps Crown, Nvidia’s Selene Climbs to #5

November 16, 2020

With the publication of the 56th Top500 list today from SC20's virtual proceedings, Japan's Fugaku supercomputer – now fully deployed – notches another win, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to Massive SARS-CoV-2 Simulations

November 19, 2020

2020 has proven a harrowing year – but it has produced remarkable heroes. To that end, this year, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) introduced the Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Texas A&M Announces Flagship ‘Grace’ Supercomputer

November 9, 2020

Texas A&M University has announced its next flagship system: Grace. The new supercomputer, named for legendary programming pioneer Grace Hopper, is replacing the Ada system (itself named for mathematician Ada Lovelace) as the primary workhorse for Texas A&M’s High Performance Research Computing (HPRC). Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Saudi Aramco Unveils Dammam 7, Its New Top Ten Supercomputer

January 21, 2021

By revenue, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world, and it has historically employed commensurate amounts of supercomputing Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel Xe-HP GPU Deployed for Aurora Exascale Development

November 17, 2020

At SC20, Intel announced that it is making its Xe-HP high performance discrete GPUs available to early access developers. Notably, the new chips have been deplo Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Teases Ice Lake-SP, Shows Competitive Benchmarking

November 17, 2020

At SC20 this week, Intel teased its forthcoming third-generation Xeon "Ice Lake-SP" server processor, claiming competitive benchmarking results against AMD's second-generation Epyc "Rome" processor. Ice Lake-SP, Intel's first server processor with 10nm technology... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Deep Learning Algorithm Solves Rubik’s Cube

July 25, 2018

Solving (and attempting to solve) Rubik’s Cube has delighted millions of puzzle lovers since 1974 when the cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and archite Read more…

By John Russell

Livermore’s El Capitan Supercomputer to Debut HPE ‘Rabbit’ Near Node Local Storage

February 18, 2021

A near node local storage innovation called Rabbit factored heavily into Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s decision to select Cray’s proposal for its CORAL-2 machine, the lab’s first exascale-class supercomputer, El Capitan. Details of this new storage technology were revealed... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

It’s Fugaku vs. COVID-19: How the World’s Top Supercomputer Is Shaping Our New Normal

November 9, 2020

Fugaku is currently the most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world – but we weren’t supposed to have it yet. The supercomputer, situated at Japan’s Riken scientific research institute, was scheduled to come online in 2021. When the pandemic struck... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

African Supercomputing Center Inaugurates ‘Toubkal,’ Most Powerful Supercomputer on the Continent

February 25, 2021

Historically, Africa hasn’t exactly been synonymous with supercomputing. There are only a handful of supercomputers on the continent, with few ranking on the Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire