HP adds blades to high performance computing portfolio

Hewlett-Packard says its BladeSystem c-Class servers are ideal for high-performance compute clusters.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has added BladeSystem c-Class servers to its Unified Cluster Portfolio to simplify configuration, deployment and management for high-performance computing (HPC) clusters.

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HP Cluster Platform Express, a pre-configured cluster system, promises quicker delivery times and reduced integration costs.

Designed for density and sharing of components, blades are the ideal cluster platform, according to Ed Turkel of HP's High Performance Computing division.

"Clusters are essentially a collection of nodes, and with blades, the components such as power and cooling, can be shared among the cluster. This allows us to run the nodes at lower power consumption, with less cabling and other components," said Turkel.

Unlike the first few generations of blades, which were not considered up to par for HPC applications, HP's c-Class blades are fairly comparable to rackmount servers like those in the ProLiant family, Turkel said.

"These blades are certainly capable of HPC because of their design. Prior blades only used Gigabit Ethernet, for instance, but we also offer InfiniBand connections," Turkel said.

InfiniBand is a scalable communications link with failover used in high performance computing.

In addition to high-performance interconnects, HP's c-Class blades feature increased processor and node support, simplified management, reduced interconnect and network complexity, high density, as well as efficient power and cooling, according to Turkel.

The bladed cluster is available with up to 48 compute nodes, Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron processors and a choice of InfiniBand or Gigabit Ethernet cluster interconnects. It also has options for a factory-installed operating system and cluster management software, and can be designed by users and ordered on HP's cluster computing site.

Customers can select from a menu of components that are then assembled at HP's factory and delivered to the user. Cost depends on the components ordered. For applications that require more memory or disk space than c-Class blades offer, other computing styles are available, Turkel said.

Architectures include HP ProLiant and Integrity servers based on AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon and Itanium 2 processors. The Unified Cluster portfolio also offers a choice of cluster interconnects and support for Microsoft Windows, Linux and UNIX operating systems and a variety of cluster management and grid software products.

To expand its Unified Cluster Portfolio program, HP also created a set of tools to simplify and automate the configuration, integration and verification of clusters. The tools will be offered to customers, certified channel partners and independent software vendors, Turkel said.

In support of the expanded HP Cluster Platform Express program, Platform Computing is extending its offer for a free 90-day trial of LSF CAE Edition to customers purchasing a cluster through the program.

Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Bridget Botelho, News Writer.

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