To achieve high performance, modern computer systems rely on two basic methodologies to scale resources. Each design attempts to bring more processors (cores) and memory to the user. A scale-up design that allows multiple cores to share a large global pool of memory is the most flexible and allows large data sets to take advantage of full in-memory computing. A scale-out design distributes data sets across the memory on separate host systems in a computing cluster. Although the scale-out cluster often has a lower hardware acquisition cost, the scale-up in-memory system provides a much better total cost of ownership (TCO) based on the following advantages:
1. Lower system administration costs
2. Difficulty and cost of cluster software conversion (MPI)
3. Better utilization of resources
4. More software capability with incremental scalability
5. Better resource productivity and easier system upgrades
To learn more about in-memory computing and the scale-up and scale-out designs download this research report from insideHPC, courtesy of SGI and Intel.