PROCESSING

Bullx supernodes (S-series)

15 April 2010

Bull

Bull has launched its Bullx supernodes (S-series). These quad-core SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) servers – which can be extended to 8, 12 or 16 processors – offer a powerful compute node in their maximum configuration, with up to 128 cores and 2TB of shared memory.

Designed and developed entirely by Bull's expert teams, in close co-operation with the French Atomic Energy Authority (the CEA), the S-series machines use the latest generation Intel Xeon 7500 series processors, designed for intensive applications and offering enhanced reliability, combined with exceptional scalability.

SMP servers enable a concentration of computing power combined with large memory. Using Bullx supernodes as part of a cluster simplifies the often complex infrastructures associated with large-scale supercomputers, by reducing the number of processing nodes, making it easier both to implement the cluster in the first place and to administer it day to day. The supernodes also simultaneously deliver both the high levels of processing power and the large amounts of memory needed by some resource-hungry applications, such as in pre-processing, for all mesh-generation operations, and processing, for the mechanics of complex structures, for example.

Two models will be available in the S-series: the Bullx S6010, ultra-compact high-end processing nodes, and the Bullx S6030, service nodes, with connectivity capabilities and enhanced storage in 3U format.

With the addition of the S-series 'fat nodes', the Bullx family enables very diverse requirements to be met. The R-series models (rack-mounted servers) offer a high degree of flexibility, with a wide choice of options, including coupling with GPUs. The B-series (blade servers) delivers high density, with 18 bi-processor compute nodes in 7U.

Using environmentally friendly technologies, Bullx offers an ultra-capacitor module that improves the efficiency of the electrical power supply by 10-15 per cent compared with traditional power supplies. A super-condenser protects the server against micro-outages of up to 300ms. In areas with good quality electricity supply networks, this does away with the need for a UPS and enables savings of up to 15 per cent on electricity consumption. A cooling door consumes 75 per cent less that standard air-conditioning and a processor control system optimises electricity consumption.

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