Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Delivering high-performance networking to the mass market

From scientific research labs to petrochemical corporations, users of high-performance computing (HPC) clusters are constantly looking for ways to increase interconnect throughput in order to maximize cluster performance. Increasingly, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) interconnect solutions offer a compelling option for many organizations. The potential for reducing infrastructure costs, converging network technologies and simplifying IT management has led organizations in a range of fields to adopt GbE solutions for their HPC environments. As network hardware vendors continue to improve throughput and reduce latency of these solutions, GbE could continue to attract more and more new customers.

For more than a decade, Force10 Networks has been working with IBM to deliver high-performance GbE networking solutions for HPC. Today, Force10 is collaborating with IBM to provide end-to-end 40 GbE solutions for HPC environments while bringing the benefits of high-performance networking to mass markets.


Combining solutions from IBM and Force10 enabled Germany’s Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) to build one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe and the world. The organization operates a 294,912-core IBM® System Blue Gene®/P environment with Force10 ExaScale E1200i switches to help scientists and researchers solve complex problems and produce detailed models. The switches provide a transparent, high-speed interconnect with the storage system in a dense architecture. With this configuration, the supercomputer—named JUGENE—can provide a net storage capacity of 4.3 PB at an aggregated bandwidth of 66 GB per second.

“We needed a communication switch which was capable of taking over 200 10 GbE ports,” says Klaus Wolkersdorfer, head of the HPC systems division at JSC. “Only the Force10 switch was capable of doing this.” Since the initial deployment in 2007, JUGENE has expanded to more than 800 10 GbE ports.

With a peak performance of 1 petaFLOPS, JUGENE provides HPC users with substantially greater performance than the previous system, all while retaining a small footprint and controlling energy consumption. Given the performance of the system, it is not surprising that JUGENE is attracting new users to JSC from all across Europe.


Performance improvements in networking hardware are spurring continued adoption of GbE for HPC. Building on the success of 10 GbE, Force10 and other vendors are introducing products that can deliver even greater bandwidth. While the cost of 100 GbE products could put them out of reach for some organizations, 40 GbE solutions can help many organizations strike an optimum balance between performance and price.

To meet the rising demand for these high-bandwidth solutions, Force10 recently introduced the S-Series S4810 10/40 GbE top-of-rack switch, a high-density 48-port 10 GbE switch with four 40 GbE uplinks. The company also announced a new 40 GbE line card for its ExaScale core switch/router. These 40 GbE products will soon be offered for IBM System Blue Gene/P environments. In addition, a 40 GbE line card will be supported on IBM Intelligent Cluster™ integrated solutions and HPC clusters based on IBM System x® iDataPlex® servers.

“The new Force10 products enable organizations to achieve end-to-end, core-to-edge 40 GbE connectivity,” says Arpit Joshipura, chief marketing officer at Force10. “By combining these 40 GbE products with powerful IBM systems, organizations gain the performance and throughput they need for solving complex problems plus the density and energy-efficiency for controlling costs.”

Because the Force10 ExaScale switch remains at the core of the networking solution whether organizations are using 1, 10 or 40 GbE, organizations can migrate to 40 GbE solutions from earlier platforms while minimizing the upheaval to the network. Tools provided through the Force10 Open Automation Framework can help organizations simplify device management and switch provisioning so they can benefit from high-performance networking without added management complexity.


By pairing dense, high-performance, end-to-end GbE networking solutions with IBM System x servers, Force10 and IBM are helping to bring the power of HPC to a broader audience. Organizations that might not have used HPC in the past can assemble clusters of cost-effective industry-standard servers and capitalize on speeds of 10 Gbps—and now 40 Gbps—for a wide range of HPC applications.

High-performance GbE networking also creates opportunities that reach beyond traditional HPC use cases. Some organizations could take advantage of 40 GbE throughput to integrate resources from multiple data centers and build high-performance private clouds, opening a new world of possibilities for HPC.

Konvensyen Kebangsaan Gerakan Paralimpik Negara Sedekad 2011-2020 (GPN2010-2020)

Majlis Paralimpik Malaysia (MPM) dengan kerjasama Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (KBS)dan Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) telahpun menganjurkan satu Konvensyen Gerakan Paralimpik Negara Sedekad (GPN2010)di Hotel World Youth, Ayer Keroh, Melaka pada 25 hingga 27 Mac 2011 yang lalu. Tujuan konvensyen ini ialah untuk meneruskan perjuangan Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU) untuk sedekad lagi dengan mendapatkan pandangan orang ramai agar program Gerakan Paralimpik Negara Sedekad Kedua (GPN2020) menemui sasarannya. Buat pertama kalinya saya menjadi peserta konvensyen ini.

GPN2020 adalah satu program Majlis Paralimpik Malaysia untuk menentukan atlet OKU akan mencapai status atlet cemerlang setanding dengan atlit negara maju yang lain. Untuk menjadi negara maju kerajaan seharusnya memberikan hak sama rata antara atlet biasa dengan hak atlet OKU.Perkara-perkara seperti kejayaan atlet OKU tidak mendapat liputan media cetak dan elektronik sepertimana liputan yang diberikan kepada atlet biasa adalah contoh dimana atlet OKU masih terpinggir berbanding atlet biasa. Skim Kemenagan untuk atlet OKU juga tidak setimpal dengan atlet biasa. Ada atlet OKU yang menjadi juara dunia tidak diberi liputan dan ganjaran sewajarnya. Inilah yang akan diperjuangkan oleh MPM untuk sedekad yang akan datang.

MPM juga akan memperjuangkan supaya satu Akta dibuat untuk MPM sepertimana yang telah diperuntukkan kepada Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) dan Majlis Sukan Negara Malaysia (MSN). MPM juga akan cuba membina Akademi Paralimpik bukan hanya untuk atlet Malaysia sahaja tetapi diiktiraf oleh International Paralympic Committee (IPC) bagi atlet luar negara berlatih atau belajar disini. Blue Print GPN2020 adalah sasaran utama konvensyen ini.

Berdasarkan pemerhatian saya, saya berpendapat konvensyen ini berjaya dan semua resolusi yang diputuskan dalam konvensyen ini perlu dikemukakan kepada pemimpin negara dan perlu diberikan perhatian satu per satu. Tahniah kepada Dekan Fakulti Sains Sukan, UiTM dan Rekreasi kerana menjadi pengerak utama menjadi moderator dan fisilitator sepanjang konvensyen berlangsung.

(Gambar sepanjang konvensyen0 GPN2010/20)