SGI Unveils 2 New Supercomputers, Management Software

SGI officials say the ICE XA and UV 300 HPC systems will be important stepping stones as the industry moves closer to exascale computing.

data centers

SGI is rolling out new hardware and software additions to its supercomputing portfolio that officials say will help push the industry toward exascale computing.

SGI officials unveiled its new products—including two new supercomputers and high-performance computing (HPC) management software—as the SC14 supercomputing show was under way in New Orleans.

The federal government and HPC space are hoping to achieve exascale computing within the next six to eight years, reaching a point where systems are 20 to 40 times faster than current supercomputers. The Department of Energy is continuing to fund projects within the IT industry to help HPC players like IBM, Cray, Nvidia, Intel and Advanced Micro Devices develop the technology that will help the world reach exascale computing.

"We believe exascale is the next frontier in high-performance computing and will enable computational breakthroughs spanning climatology, energy, security and at the speed of human thought," SGI President and CEO Jorge Titinger said in a statement. "SGI is on a path to deliver systems capable of an exaflop by 2020. While these systems will be designed for the most extreme HPC environments, our progression will bring practical solutions to tera- and petascale problems seen today."

SGI officials said the vendor will continue innovating with the goal of reaching exascale computing through such efforts as bringing storage and processors closer together, managing power consumption at the job level, reducing cooling costs by using higher facility water temperatures and technologies that enable systems to be fully emerged in liquid coolants, and finding ways to better predict hardware failure through improved analytics.

SGI's new sixth-generation ICE XA supercomputer is a highly scalable and energy-efficient system that runs Linux and is powered by Intel's latest Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors. The distributed-memory supercomputer also can leverage Intel's Xeon Phi coprocessors or GPU accelerators from Nvidia to increase the system's performance while holding down power consumption. The ICE XA's energy efficiency is further pushed by SGI's second-generation E-cell warm water cooling technology, which officials said offers at least a 30 percent increase in cooling efficiency compared with competing technologies.

The system, which also uses InfiniBand interconnects, can scale to tens of thousands of nodes and hundreds of thousands of cores running Red Hat Linux or SUSE Linux.

SGI's UV 300 and UV 30EX in-memory supercomputers are aimed at data-intensive workloads and also run Linux. The four-socket systems run Intel's Xeon E7-8800 v2 chips, can leverage the Xeon Phi coprocessors and Nvidia GPUs, and offer up to 3TB of in-memory computing power.

The company's Management Center 3.0 software is part of SGI's larger Management Suite, and offers such capabilities as automatically provisioning operating systems across compute clusters, provisioning power at the node level and recording time-stamped histories for analysis to help organizations be more proactive in ensuring system performance.

SGI also is offering new Remote Services that include around-the-clock systems monitoring.

The ICE XA supercomputing can be ordered now and will begin shipping in the spring of 2015, while the UV 300 and UV 30EX also can be ordered now and will be available at the end of 2014. Both the Management Center 3.0 and Remote Services are available immediately.