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Cluster your NEC SX's over a wide area

An interesting experiment in Japan on clustering together a couple NEC SX-9 vector machines over a long distance

NEC logoThe Cyberscience Center, Tohoku University, the Cybermedia Center, Osaka University, National Institute of Informatics (NII) and NEC Corporation jointly announced today the successful demonstration of one of the world’s fastest vector supercomputing environments by creating a single virtual system through the connection of two remotely located vector supercomputers on NAREGI (National Research Grid Initiative) middleware developed by NII.

The endpoints are at Tohuku U with a 16 node SX-9 and Osaka U with 10 nodes, and are about 500 miles apart (rough estimate from a quick peek at Google maps). They are connected via SINET3 (Science Information NETwork 3), Japan’s first 40 Gbps with 63 edge and 12 core nodes. The network brought Japan’s first 40 Gbps lines between Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka.

The software glue is the NAREGI middleware

NAREGI middleware enables large-scale computing resources at research and development centers scattered over a large area to be closely interconnected through high speed networks. These network connections can be viewed as a single massive virtual computer that efficiently implements large-scale parallel simulations, which were formerly difficult for individually isolated computer systems to carry out.

A new grid middleware component, the “GridVM for the SX Vector Computer,” was developed by enhancing the existing capabilities of the NAREGI middleware, such as job management, information provision and resource usage control. The enhanced GridVM maintains high compatibility with the local job scheduler (NQS) on the SX-9, which enables the efficient use of vector computing resources even in the grid environment. Moreover, it permits the co-existence of conventional (non-grid) jobs and grid jobs, allowing the computing center to provide a pioneering new cloud-computing service.

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