SGI Announces the Scalable Workgroup Cluster

The new Cloudrack X2 powers 216 cores in 5-square-foot enclosure; brings scalability, flexibility and efficiency to HPC, graphics and internet applications

August 7, 2009

3 Min Read
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FREMONT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SGI (NASDAQ:SGI) today announced the immediate availability of CloudRack X2, a new generation of scalable workgroup clusters for HPC, graphics and Internet applications. The newest addition to the CloudRack product family, CloudRack X2 delivers extreme density and 99 percent power distribution efficiency with Power XE in a small, 5-square-foot form factor. This enables a broad range of new deployment scenarios, including to workgroups, laboratories and traditional HPC environments either as a stand-alone unit mounted on casters for in-lab use or installed in industry-standard, 19-inch racks--especially valuable for heterogeneous computing environments.

CloudRack X2 represents the first time that CloudRack trays are available in HPC-dedicated configurations. The new system now supports high-performance processors and high-speed interconnects, including 40 Gb/sec InfiniBand. As a result, typical HPC installations, including those that run computational structural mechanics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, seismic processing, rendering and visualization applications, can immediately capitalize on the many performance, density and thermal advantages of the tray-based CloudRack design.

CloudRack X2 is also ideal for large scale-out deployments into existing rack environments. Customers with traditional rack-mount architectures can leverage the benefits of the CloudRack product line within smaller physical footprints to maximize data center real estate. One-way MicroSlice architecture-based single-socket servers reach extreme price/performance ratios, ideal for Internet applications and workloads.

"The CloudRack X2 is a workgroup cluster done right," said Mark J. Barrenechea, president and CEO of SGI. "Customers can scale at 24 or 216 core increments, with support for low- to high-power processors, and incorporate high-end graphics or GP-GPU processing, if needed. The CloudRack X2 is a great example of how SGI focuses on power, cooling and density."

Data centers can immediately evaluate CloudRack technology benefits and use the more compact CloudRack X2 as an easy "on-ramp" to larger installations. The 14U high CloudRack X2 has capacity for up to nine CloudRack server trays. The product offers complete build-to-order optimization with hot-swappable components, and the latest Intel and AMD processors to maximize flexibility and facilitate integration into any computing environment."Many HPC users are looking beyond traditional workstations to advanced workgroup clusters to solve larger, more complex problems in a shorter time frame," said Earl Joseph, program vice president of IDC's high-performance systems. "The small form factor of the CloudRack X2, combined with the expandability to up to 216 cores and a full set of the latest processor options, together with IB and SSD options, allows HPC buyers to build a system tailored to their specific application requirements. CloudRack X2 expands SGI's addressable market to a wider range of computing environments."

CloudRack X2 enclosures are compatible with a large number of build-to-order trays, including the following two-way and one-way server configurations:

    * Two dual-socket Intel Xeon 5500 processor series-based servers per tray
    * Six single-socket Intel Atom processor series-based MicroSlice servers per tray
    * Two dual-socket, Quad- or Six-Core AMD Opteron 2300 or 2400 processor series-based servers per tray
    * Three single-socket AMD Phenom X4 Quad-Core processor series-based MicroSlice servers per tray
    * Six single-socket AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core processor series-based MicroSlice servers per tray

Most CloudRack trays include support for up to either six or eight SATA or SAS hard drives in 2.5" or 3.5" form factors with Solid State Disks (SSD) available for applications that need particularly high performance and reliability. High-end NVIDIA graphics/GP-GPU functionality is also available in select configurations. Trays are available with a variety of operating system certifications, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5, and SGI ProPack for Linux. CloudRack X2 with Intel-based trays are available certified as Intel Cluster Ready for seamless integration and superior interoperability.

CloudRack X2 configurations for Internet and some HPC applications are available now, with graphics, GP-GPU and additional HPC trays to come this quarter. For more information about the CloudRack X2 and specific configurations, please visit www.sgi.com/CloudRackX2. 

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