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Storage-Happy Petabyte Capacity Supercomputers Due in 2015

IDG News Service (03/13/14) Agam Shah 

The Wrangler supercomputer at Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin and the Comet supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego are currently being re-engineered with a new design that includes high levels of storage relative to the number of processors in the system. The new supercomputers will provide better throughput, in-memory, and caching features, which could offer a faster and more efficient way to solve complex problems, according to the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF wants more sophisticated supercomputing designs so data travels faster between processing elements, says consultant Dan Olds. “It has to do with the changing nature of high-performance computing,” Olds says. “They want to control massive data streams instead of handling batch [jobs].” The Comet supercomputer is more suitable for both high throughput and data-intensive computing because its heterogeneous configuration will support not only complex simulations, but also advanced analytics and visualization of output. Meanwhile, Wrangler will have 3,000 processing cores dedicated to data analysis, and flash storage layers for analytics.

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