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SGI boosts processing power of its Altix XE clusters

SGI : 12 November, 2007  (New Product)
SGI has introduced new cluster nodes and processor upgrades aimed at increasing the performance of the company's SGI Altix XE clusters while maintaining their ability to deploy quickly, consume power efficiently, and help keep data centres running cooler.
SGI is extending its Altix XE line of servers and clusters with two new models powered by next-generation 45nm Intel Xeon Processors: the Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5400 Series 'Harpertown' and Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5200 Series 'Wolfdale'.

The new SGI Altix XE250 is an ideal choice to serve as a cluster head node, featuring two, four or eight cores of advanced Intel Xeon Processor performance. SGI has designed the Altix XE250 with the memory capacity and bandwidth to deliver optimal application performance. The new system utilises a 12MB cache to reduce the load placed on system memory and a 1600MHz Front-Side Bus to improve bandwidth between memory and the CPU. Redundant power supplies add to the system's reliability.

For customers seeking affordable density, the innovative SGI Altix XE320 packs up to 16 cores of Intel's latest and fastest Xeon engines into a 1U space. The new system leverages the innovative 'Atoka' motherboard, which SGI developed with Intel and Super Micro Computer, to offer high blade density in a traditional rack enclosure. The Altix XE320 is designed for low impact on floor space, cooling needs and power consumption. For greater reliability, the system integrates InfiniBand and/or Gigabit Ethernet interconnects on every node.

In addition to the new models, SGI Altix XE310, SGI's entry-level dense cluster node, will run the new quad-core Xeon engine.

While the new Xeon processors give SGI Altix XE clusters an overall performance boost, SGI is also focused on improvements that will impact organizations faced with soaring energy and cooling bills and overcrowded data centres.

The power- and space-efficient design of Altix XE clusters enables customers to run high-performance applications without placing too great a burden on their data centres. For instance, high-density Altix XE enclosures can be efficiently cooled by SGI's water-chilled doors design, which carries away 95 percent of the heat.

SGI's factory-integrated clusters ship with a pre-installed software stack that includes a combination of SGI-developed and open source tools and utilities that facilitate cluster management. By shipping Altix XE clusters ready to install, SGI reduces deployment times down to days.

SGI Altix XE clusters enable customers to 'power up and go' so they can achieve immediate productivity with their new clusters - an improvement over typical Linux OS-base clusters that can require weeks or even months to fully deploy. Recent Altix XE implementations span multiple industries, research fields and geographies. They include:

University of Minnesota, 2,048-core SGI Altix XE1300 cluster for research in physical, biological, medical, mathematical and computing sciences, in addition to engineering studies and academic-industry collaboration.

South Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (SAPAC), 544-core SGI Altix XE1300 cluster for use in computational chemistry research.

The Biophysics Institute at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, 112-core SGI Altix XE cluster for genomics research on HIV and malaria and to serve as a second 'leg' of the university's grid effort.
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