Building on its long history of innovation in Grid computing, Silicon
Graphics announced that it continues to drive new advances in the
rapidly growing Grid movement with several new compute, storage and
visualization products. Recent SGI product introductions mark the
latest in SGI's long track record of contributions to Grid computing
standards bodies and at university, government and commercial sites.
"SGI technologies and development efforts have been decisive in shaping
some of the most important innovations in Grid computing, and many of
the world's largest Grid installations are powered by SGI," said Walter
Stewart, business development manager for Grid at SGI. "Our vision of
the Grid is to give universal access to resources capable of
processing, managing and interacting with big data. With every new
product introduction, we push that vision even further, revealing how
the benefits of Grid stretch far beyond shared compute cycles. The
result is a collaborative environment that crosses platforms,
organizations and geographies."
SGI technologies provide the enabling infrastructure that underlies
Grid computing. With more than two decades of experience solving the
world's most challenging compute problems, SGI products enable users to
run applications addressing terabyte-class data sets across multiple
locations. SGI computer systems, visualization, storage systems,
networking technologies and software provide the foundation for Grid as
an intelligent infrastructure for discovery.
Most recently SGI extended its line of Linux OS-based servers with the
new factory-integrated SGI Altix 1350 and SGI Altix Hybrid Cluster,
both of which bring exceptional flexibility and scalability to any
computing environment. SGI also recently unveiled the SGI
InfiniteStorage Total Performance 9700 (TP9700) RAID storage array, the
industry's first Fibre Channel storage array equipped with 4 Gb/s
interfaces. And in October, SGI introduced Silicon Graphics Prism, the
world's first truly scalable Linux visualization system.
"The compute, visualization and data management resources supplied by
SGI have reinforced the University of Manchester's position as a major
Grid resource center the U.K., Europe and beyond," said Terry Hewitt,
deputy director of Manchester Computing and head of research support at
the University of Manchester. "We are a world-leading resource center
on the Grid not only because we have SGI technology, but also because
it is combined with the enthusiasm and support of the company and its
staff. This has allowed us to provide a real capability to users
regardless of their location. SGI and its Grid solutions have made a
significant impact on the quality and quantity of science and research
performed in the U.K.'s eScience projects."
A Long History in Grid
As a recognized leader in high-performance computing and advanced
visualization, SGI has been involved in Grid computing from the
movement's earliest days. At Supercomputing '97, exhibitors saw the
first public demonstration of Grid technologyone exclusively powered
by SGI. SGI systems and software also served as the platform for
initial development of the important Globus Toolkit, a reference
implementation that supplies the software building blocks for many Grid
implementations. In addition, SGI is a Platinum sponsor of the Global
Working closely with Intel and other technology leaders, SGI is focused on addressing four primary challenges of Grid computing:
- Increase system and application scalability. The largest problems
consistently push the limits of available technologies. Different
problems may require different programming models for the best solution.
- Enable high-speed data sharing between heterogeneous systems.
- Improve Grid security.
- Allow remote visualization with compressed output from
high-value, real-time visualization systems delivered to any display
device on the Grid.
That focus, underpinned by breakthrough SGI technologies, has resulted
in the adoption of SGI systems in almost all of the world's major
technical Grid installations, including:
- The University of Manchester, through its award-winning
TeraGyroid project, has enabled a major leap forward in simulating such
soft condensed matter as biological samples, gels and foams. Part of
the RealityGrid initiative, TeraGyroid is one of more than 50 eScience
and Grid projects under Manchester's direction, and much of its U.K.
national Grid efforts are driven by SGI technology.
- Cambridge University's COSMOS consortium project, which has
established a Grid solution for testing mathematical models of the
universe. The Grid is powered by an SGI Altix 3000 server, an SGI Onyx
visualization system, a 10TB SGI InfiniteStorage RAID system with CXFS
shared filesystem and Data Migration Facility (DMF), and a Visual Area
Network (VAN) that allows anyone on the Grid to access data
- SARA Computing and Network Services, the Dutch national
supercomputing center, allows researchers throughout the SARA Grid to
share resources in the pursuit of breakthroughs in the study of
climate, medicine, water management, water quality, fluid dynamics,
computational chemistry, and genomics. The Grid employs an SGI Altix
3000 system, an SGI Origin system, CXFS, and a VAN enabling more users
to visualize research results.
To read a more in-dpeth interview with Walter Stewart, see the article
"Walter Stewart on SGI's Role in Ever-Evolving World of Grid"
issue of GRIDtoday.