Last year, the prestigious U.S. National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA) used the national supercomputer Huygens at SARA. NCSA utilized Huygens for testing purposes, in order to decide on which operating system the Blue Waters supercomputer would be running.
Huygens was the first IBM Power6-based supercomputer in the world running Linux. SARA experts not only shared their experience with NCSA, they also gave support where needed. The results on Huygens were compared with those on comparable supercomputers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), both running on the AIX operating system. Based on a comparison of more than 160 points NCSA eventually opted for Linux.
In 2011, Blue Waters will be in production and have a sustained application performance of 1 Pflop/s. This requires a peak performance of about 10 Pflop/s, which is more than four times faster than the current number 1 in the Top 500 of supercomputers worldwide . Blue Waters will be based on IBM Power7 nodes (the successor of the Power6 nodes that Huygens is equipped with).
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