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Supercomputing Technology

Supercomputer Repossessed By State, May Be Sold In Pieces 123

1sockchuck writes "A supercomputer that was the third-fastest machine in the world in 2008 has been repossessed by the state of New Mexico and will likely be sold in pieces to three universities in the state. The state has been unable to find a buyer for the Encanto supercomputer, which was built and maintained with $20 million in state funding. The supercomputer had the enthusiastic backing of Gov. Bill Richardson, who saw the project as an economic development tool for New Mexico. But the commercial projects did not materialize, and Richardson's successor, Susana Martinez, says the supercomputer is a 'symbol of excess.'"
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Supercomputer Repossessed By State, May Be Sold In Pieces

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, 2013 @08:14PM (#42469475)

    As a citizen of New Mexico, Susana Martinez is probably the dumbest and most shortsighted politician I've ever seen in office. She makes George W. Bush look like Albert W. Einstein.

    I know that's off-topic, but Goddamn is that woman stupid. I just had to say something.

  • Re:Oh, boy! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, 2013 @08:30PM (#42469595)

    I suspect that you can still upgrade those SGI Altix boxes with the newest Itanium CPUs, so i think once can still squeeze respectable performance out of them. Additionally, they are not clusters but large single Image systems, i.e. only one instance of Linux runs with 1024 or 2048 CPUs, so the resulting system may be more suitable for some tasks than a cluster of "normal" PCs.

  • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @08:46PM (#42469751)

    and supercomputers often require recoding of the 'app' so that it runs better and uses the hardware better.

    when I was at SGI (and cray was still part of them) I got some time on a cray machine to run some code that I was usually running on indys and octanes. I expected a HUGE increase in speed but I saw only about 2x. my app was not broken down to be cray-friendly and so I never got any real speed out of it.

    unless you go to lengths to use the SC in 'its preferred way' its a wasted and expensive resource.

  • by frosty_tsm ( 933163 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @09:01PM (#42469935)
    My experience is it would be better to provision a cluster of EC2 boxes to run the task than build a purpose-built super computer (with some exception). One disadvantage of clustered machines is longer communication latency, so tasks that require lots of process to process communication will run slower. Many problems can be tweaked with search spaces sliced so that this latency is not a big deal.

    A governor who thinks that spending $20m on this will bring more businesses to his state in the world of the internet just built his super-computer to nowhere.
  • by Gilmoure ( 18428 ) on Thursday January 03, 2013 @11:14PM (#42471125) Journal

    It was a non-profit organization that was running this and they owed money to sgi for maintenance.

BLISS is ignorance.