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Stefan Mileschin 15th December 2011 07:32

Flash-drive supercomputer switched on
What is being billed as the world's first flash-based supercomputer has been switched on at the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

Dubbed "Gordon" after Flash Gordon rather than the former British Prime Minister, the new supercomputer shows what you can do with SSD technology.

According to SSD Revew, supercomputers normally need shedloads of hard disk drives to handle their data storage and access. Gordon accesses data nine times faster than any other computer created.

Apparently it can do 36,000,000 IOPS or thirty six million Input/Output Operations Per Second.

The good thing about it was it was put together for just $20 million dollars.

It is based around 1,024 Intel 710 SSD drives which have 300TB of Intel eMLC flash. There are also 1,024 dual-socket nodes, which each have Intel's 22nm Sandy Bridge Xeon E5 CPUs, and also 64GB of DDR3 memory.

It is not the fastest supercomputer in the world. It is measured at 280 Teraflops which is not the floppest we have seen and only ranks at #48 in the top 500 on the strength of its calculations.

But the I/O speed brings up the performance a lot. That is going to get supercomputer designers all moist and come up with future SSD machines.

blackened 15th December 2011 20:24

Enterprise Class Drives?
I hope these are truly enterprise class drives.. We bought 21 1TB OCZ Colossus drives for testing in a 10 node cluster here at work.. We put 2 1tb drives in each machine and started our testing.. Our spare was used within minutes of starting our tests and after about 3 weeks and 7 RMA's later we just gave up on even trying... Now, when I show the boss the performance of SATAIII drives they just laugh at me.. I couldnt imagine trying to set up a 1024 node/drive cluster with the same failure rate we had.. I dont know why they chose the Colossus drives though, I was only the one installed and swapping them, as those were just horrible to begin with..

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