SGI has announced the availability of its Cyclone service, which it claims is the world’s first large-scale, on-demand cloud computing service dedicated to technical applications.
SGI states that previous cloud services have focused on business applications such as CRM, ERP, email and database programs. The company aims to use its 20 years of HPC expertise to address the growing science and engineering technical markets that rely on high-end computational hardware, software and networking equipment to achieve rapid results. The Cyclone service initially supports a number of leading applications partners and five technical domains, including computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, computational chemistry and materials, computational biology and ontologies.
Cyclone is available in two service models: Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). With the SaaS model, customers can significantly reduce time to results by accessing and fully exploiting Cyclone’s pre-defined, pre-certified technical applications. The IaaS model allows customers to install and run their own applications.
The SGI technology at Cyclone's core is comprised of some of the world's fastest supercomputing hardware architectures, including SGI Altix scale-up, Altix ICE scale-out and Altix XE hybrid clusters, all based on Intel Xeon or Itanium processors. The hybrid architecture offers either Nvidia Tesla GPUs or AMD FireStream GPU compute accelerators for floating point, double-precision workloads, and Tilera accelerators for integer workloads. High performance SGI InfiniteStorage systems are available for scratch space and long-term archival of customer data.
At the system software level, Cyclone offers a flexible computing environment with the choice of Novell SUSE or Red Hat Linux operating systems, further performance-optimised through the addition of SGI ProPack. Altair PBS Professional and SGI ISLE Cluster Manager provide system scheduling and management.