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Interview: ScaleMP Launches vSMP Foundation Version 5.5

Today ScaleMP announced the release of its latest version of the patented vSMP Foundation software, Version 5.5. To learn more, we caught up with the Shai Fultheim, the company’s CEO.

insideHPC: What’s new at ScaleMP?

shai-fultheim-150x225Shai Fultheim: ScaleMP is close to releasing the next gen version of our software, vSMP Foundation 5.5. This brings to market:

  • More hardware support. AnyIO is new and allows the customer to plug any I/O device, whether it be, 10GigE, IB card, PCI Flash, GPUs, Xeon Phi, and access those devices from the virtual SMP.  Really any IO device.
  • CPU side. We now support the latest Intel Xeon E7 processors that were just recently announced. So, we now support both Ivy-bridge produce lines: the Intel Xeon E5 and Intel Xeon E7. We already have some deployments in the field.
  • Performance enhancements.  For environments where large memory systems are critical – bio informatics, legacy databases i.e. Big Data, we have focused on a lot of performance enhancements. We strive to make large memory systems as fast as possible.  It is interesting to note that in some cases, our VMs are faster than physical machines.  We do this by prefetching and caching data based on our understanding of memory placement and access patterns.
  • A new and flexible pricing mode. We’ve lowered the price for smaller configurations. With our new pricing model, this also makes it easier for the migration of licenses.  We have been delivering software since 2005. Since then, there have been new vendors, new cpus, and a tremendous change in the amount of memory per socket.  As customers have upgraded their infrastructure they may want to keep the same licenses as new systems are purchased.  With the new licensing model, this now becomes incredibly easy and is future proof.

insideHPC: When will customers be able to download the new version ?

Shai Fultheim:  We like to do what is called a “soft” rollout, so that we catch any issues on a limited basis. The fully downloadable version will be on our web site by end of quarter.  Visit www.scalemp.com/download to see the latest version.

insideHPC:  What about the free version, vSMP Foundation Free?

Shai Fultheim: We announced vSMP Foundation Free a little while ago.  We are now seeing this product grow through our installed base.  There are hundreds of nodes running vSMP Foundation Free.  We are starting a new campaign very soon.  vSMP Foundation Free allows you to connect up to 8 servers to create a 1 TB VM.  It became quite popular in bio-informatics and extreme I/O use cases.  For a limited time, we will give US customers a $ 5 Starbucks gift card when they register for and download and install vSMP Foundation Free. Why ? We are confident that installing vSMP Foundation Free will be as easy and as fast as ordering your favorite coffee drink.

insideHPC: Everything these days is about in-memory analytics. How does ScaleMP fit in?

Shai Fultheim: ScaleMP is not all about HPC.  More and more of our customers running legacy databases.  From MySQL and Oracle to SAP HANA. Legacy applications typically do not need lots of CPUs, but really need lots of memory.  In the 20 to 30 to 40 TB range.  However, core density for these applications is easily satisfied on one system with CPUs from Intel or AMD. In addition, lots of PCI Express channels are needed and when you put this all together, there is amazing performance for legacy environments.  This has been shown to be much faster than using disk and flash.

insideHPC: What recent wins can you share with us?

Shai Fultheim: Two areas improving.  1) US Government is picking up. For example, we have recent deals with the Navy Research Lab, Army Research Lab and NIH. 2) Internationally, in Asia, and especially Japan. We have a series of wins in japan: Technical Research and Development Institute – which is Japan’s DOD, Center for Genomic Medicine of Kyoto University, Institute of Statistical Mathematics, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, etc.

insideHPC: You now have the largest Tier 1 system companies like  IBM, HP, Dell, Fujitsu and Cray, distributing your software. Anything new to report in this area?

Shai Fultheim: Yes, just announced partnership with Boston Ltd.   We are seeing more and more customers like to buy a ready-made appliance.  We announced a while ago a ready-made system from Cray, you just order and get. We have just announced a partnership with Boston Ltd. With Boston we are creating the largest AMD Opteron system on earth.  The pricing is on web site.  If you go to:  www.scalemp.com/appliances, you can see the range of appliances.  The new Boston ltd. appliance starts at $ 60,000 and can grow to 8 TB for less than $ 200,000, which is amazing.

insideHPC: In-memory is the buzz. Any closing thoughts?

Shai Fultheim: We are working hard to help customers access tremendous amounts of memory at a low cost. To further than, we have created an on-line configurator.  If you go to:  www.scalemp.com/configurator  anyone can enter the number and types of CPUs, amount of RAM and a few simple questions and see  what the list price would be to create a large memory system or a virtual SMP.

What we are starting to see is that a customer might download vSMP Foundation Free.  Then, after filling up the 1 TB of memory, they may want to implement a larger system. Using the on-line configurator, you can see what a larger installation would cost.

In summary, you can invest once, and keep the license.  You can change the license to use vSMP Foundation Advanced Platform, a one time investment. Then, as generations of CPUs change, you can keep the license and upgrade easily.

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