SC07: During the conference this week UK cluster company Concurrent Thinking announced a new series of appliances meant to make building HPC clusters snap together easy. From the release
Concurrent Thinking’s cluster appliances offer a simple and cost-effective solution to cluster deployment, management and support. Developed around an extensible service-oriented architecture and web services, individual appliances provide key services such as cluster management, user login, file-serving and visualization, all within a tightly-integrated and highly-optimized environment. The products are certified against a wide range of third-party servers, high performance interconnects and storage devices.
“Our cluster appliance products provide the basic building blocks of an integrated cluster supercomputer,” said John Taylor, CTO of Concurrent Thinking. “By supplying a common infrastructure that supports third party cluster hardware, we not only enable users to enjoy the full benefits of customer choice – with respect to both hardware and software – but can ensure that they have an optimally configured and reliable HPC solution. The appliance approach is really a means of delivering this technology in a systematic fashion, and we believe it’s the natural next-step in the evolution of the cluster.”
It’s an interesting approach that might work well for people experienced enough to want more flexibility than, say, Linux Networx or HP offer with their mid-market solutions, but who aren’t ready for a full-on custom machine. On the other hand, I tend to think there won’t be a lot of these people for a while. That market is only starting to take its first steps into HPC, and customers to my mind are more likely to be adopting turnkey systems for the next several years. If Concurrent Thinking can hold on while the customer base matures, they might have a business.