Virginia Tech to build G5 Super Computer Cluster?

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Has anyone caught this:

OK, I was reading the discussion over at slashdot. Wasn't sure if it was bogus or not, so I decided to do a little investigating. I chatted with two people via AIM and I inquired about the project. As weird as it sounds, the first person I contacted said that a project does indeed exist, but that it's "hush hush" Now, before you all start laughing, this person was a grad student and wasn't involved with the Comp. Sci. Dept. He couldn't offer much more than a confirmation that VT was in fact getting some type of supercomputer and that he figures the government is building it for them and that it was probably for "Homeland Security"

The other was female (a junior) who said she had heard something about the university getting a supercomputer, but didn't know much else and couldn't really provide anymore information.

Does anyone else have any contacts at Virginia Tech? I e-mailed the head of the computer purchasing department to see if he could provide any additional information.




  • Reply 1 of 10
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    If they are building this cluster from G5 towers, this means good-bye to the hope for a G5 based XServe for quite a time, I guess...
  • Reply 2 of 10

    Originally posted by Smircle

    If they are building this cluster from G5 towers, this means good-bye to the hope for a G5 based XServe for quite a time, I guess...

    You won't see G5 XServes or blades until they get the power requirements down and that probably won't happen until the next process change.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    jkbjkb Posts: 18member
    Rumblings I've heard: Announce G5 Xserve in September, but the shipping will be later (think October/November timeframe). If VT wants this cluster going anytime soon, G5 towers are their only option.

    My friend who was working at Siggraph also heard that Pixar has a large order in for G5s. Perhaps this is another source of delay.

  • Reply 4 of 10
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member

    Originally posted by jkb

    Rumblings I've heard: Announce G5 Xserve in September, but the shipping will be later (think October/November timeframe).

    Oracle 10i will be announced next Tuesday at OracleWorld and it will (among other platforms) run on Mac OS X.

    Apple is having a booth at OracleWorld, and databases like Oracle will really benefit from 64bit.

    Perhaps you're right that a G5 Xserve will be announced pretty soon.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    cooopcooop Posts: 390member
    Back on topic, Think Secret has a lot of information regarding the supercomputer:

    "Virginia Tech University is building a Power Mac G5 cluster that will result in a supercomputer estimated to be one of the top five fastest in the world.

    In yesterday's notes article, we reported that Virginia Tech had placed a large order of dual-2GHz G5s to form a cluster. Since that time, we've received additional information, allowing us to confirm a number of details.

    According to reports, Virginia Tech placed the dual-2GHz G5 order shortly after the G5 was announced. Multiple sources said Virginia Tech has ordered 1100 units; RAM on each is said to be upgraded to 4GB or 8GB.

    The G5s will be clustered using Infiniband to form a 1100-node supercomputer delivering over 10 Teraflops of performance. Two sources said the cluster is estimated to be one of the top five fastest supercomputers in the world.

    However, Virginia Tech's on a deadline. The university needs to have the cluster completely set up this fall so that it can be ranked in Linpack's Top 500 Supercomputer list.

    Apple bumped Virginia Tech's order to the front of the line -- even in front of first day orders -- to get them out the door all at once. Sources originally estimated the G5s will arrive the last week of August; they're still on track to arrive early, possibly next week.

    This information is more-or-less public within the university community but no announcement has been made. Earlier in the month, Think Secret contacted Virginia Tech's Associate Vice President for University Relations, who said the report was an "interesting story" and agreed to see what he could confirm. The university didn't respond to follow-up requests for comment."
  • Reply 6 of 10
    I live about 15 minutes away from VT. Does anybody think I should sneak into the computer science buildings and try to find out what's going on?

  • Reply 7 of 10
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Oooh, do what Tom Cruise did in that movie and drop through the ceiling on little wires and gather some info!
  • Reply 8 of 10
    shawkshawk Posts: 116member
    I need a relatively large parallel G5 computation system for fluid dynamics analysis. I estimate that a farm with 16 to 32 G5 2GHz CPUs would start to give usable results within a realistic time.

    At Siggraph, Apple representatives told me to wait a few weeks for a G5 server product. It was not clear if this was going to be a xServe G5 refresh or a new product. I was also told that I wouldn't be disappointed.

    Also at Siggraph, an overheard conversation at the Pixar booth led me to believe that a new Pixar rendering farm would be a G5 blade system. It was not clear if this was going to be an Apple or an IBM product; nor was it clear if it was going to use OSX.

    Of course, I could be wrong. I'm often wrong.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    crusadercrusader Posts: 1,129member

    I'm wondering if I should change my college list to include Virginia Tech. Man, a top 5 Supercomputer built on Apple machines, now that kicks butt. 2200 2 Ghz G5 Processors, if that ain't enough to give a Mac User and orgasim, nothing is. Maybe the can nickname it Durandal. Just for refrence the current Top 5 are:

    1. NEC

    Earth-Simulator/ 5120

    2. Hewlett-Packard

    ASCI Q - AlphaServer SC ES45/1.25 GHz/ 8192

    3. Linux Networx

    MCR Linux Cluster Xeon 2.4 GHz - Quadrics/ 230

    4. IBM

    ASCI White, SP Power3 375 MHz/ 8192

    5. IBM

    SP Power3 375 MHz 16 way/ 6656

    I'm sure someone here can spend a little more time and whip up a nice chart, but if not, you can find the Top 500 list here .

    Edit: Oh I forgot to put this guy in:

    ~3. Apple G5 Network

    G5 Cluster PPC 970 2 Ghz/ 2200

    Or something like that.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member

    Originally posted by Crusader

    Just for refrence the current Top 5 are....

    Do we know rough estimates of cost? I mean, obviously there are going to be discounts, but the estimated street value?
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