Partner Newsletter Q2 2010 - Intel® Cluster Ready Articles 1

Welcome to the Intel® Cluster Ready Partner Newsletter

Intel® Cluster Ready is nearly three years old and has built significant momentum in the marketplace around clustered solutions that just work, right out of the box. Through Intel Cluster Ready, companies like yours have come together to develop total HPC cluster solutions that meet the volume demand for HPC clusters and improve the process of delivering new cluster solutions to the market. Whether you're an OEM, ISV, systems integrator, middleware or component vendor, you've played a key role in creating a win/win scenario that expands business opportunities and meets customer needs.

Continuing the Momentum

We want to continue building the program's momentum, and the Intel Cluster Ready Partner Newsletter is one way to do that. We'll use this quarterly vehicle to bring you the latest info about the Intel Cluster Ready program, customer successes, and technologies. In this issue, you can read about the recently introduced Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series, including updated tools and new reference implementations that support it. You can learn about new program features that resulted from partner input, and get hands-on hints for using Intel® Cluster Checker 1.5.

Opportunities Moving Forward
This is a time of opportunities for Intel Cluster Ready. The economy is beginning to rebound, and businesses are starting to loosen their purse strings. Intel's big leaps in processor performance and energy efficiency are encouraging technology refresh, and competitive pressures are leading many companies to increase their use of HPC applications. New users are entering the HPC community as the demand for departmental, workgroup and small-business clusters rises. We look forward to an exciting year, working with you to deliver the benefits of certified HPC clusters and registered software.

Meanwhile, use the newsletter to keep up with the latest developments. Share your successes, and let us know your ideas for further improvements to the program. If you have ecosystem partners who aren't part of Intel Cluster Ready, encourage them to join. Let's continue expanding the value we deliver to customers and growing the market for HPC clusters.

See you next issue!

Richard Dracott, General Manager of High-Performance Computing
Bill Magro, Director of HPC Software Solutions

Intel Cluster Ready Partners Build Momentum on New Intel® Silicon

Intel launched the Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series in mid-March, and partners in the Intel Cluster Ready program are moving quickly to bring the benefits of the new processors to their HPC customers. The Intel Xeon processor 5600 series delivers up to 60 percent more compute performance, 30 percent less power, and 4.4x more bandwidth than the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series, and has caches that are 50 percent larger. That makes them a great match for the needs of HPC users, according to Richard Dracott, general manager of HPC at Intel.

"This processor is a monster," Dracott says. "HPC customers are going to see immediate improvements in their ability to simulate, analyze, and visualize larger, more complex models faster, without increasing data center power or real estate. We expect the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series to be the backbone of high-performance computing clusters going forward."

9+ World Records
The Intel Xeon 5600 series processors represent the next tock of Intel's familiar tick-tock cadence of innovation. They shrink the die down to an industry-leading 32nm logic technology, while carrying forward the integrated memory controller, shared L3 cache per socket, Intel® QuickPath Interconnect and other breakthroughs of the Intel microarchitecture code-named Nehalem. Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology increases the opportunities for parallelism, and Intel® TurboBoost Technology enables HPC users to increase execution speed by using available power to run at a higher frequency.

Dual-socket servers based on the new processors immediately established more than nine world records, including integer performance (SPECint*_base2006), Open MP performance (SPEComp*Mbase 2001 and SPEComp*Lbase2001), and compute-intensive applications developed with the Message Passing Interface (MPI) (SPECMPI*2007). Floating point throughput on Intel Xeon processor 5600 series based server platforms showed a 25 percent gain compared to the Intel Xeon processor 5570.

Data Source: See SPEC CPU2006* benchmark suite for Intel Xeon processor benchmark description and configuration details. AMD Opteron* results are based on published results at as of April 19, 2010.

Other innovations with the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series are aimed at increased security and energy efficiency in the data. Two new security features - Intel® Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel® AES-NI) and Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT) - enable faster encryption and decryption performance for more secure transactions and virtualized environments. The frequency-optimized Intel Xeon processor 5677 peaks at 3.4 GHz with a thermal design power (TDP) of 130 watts. Low-voltage versions will have TDPs as low as 60 watts for six cores and 40 watts for four cores. Low-power DDR3 memory enable a further 10 percent reduction in memory power.

Accelerating Time to Market
To help you get your Intel Xeon processor 5600 series-based cluster solutions to market faster, Intel Cluster Ready software infrastructure has been extensively updated. A major new revision of Intel® Cluster Checker, version 1.5, supports the latest Intel® products for high-performance computing, including the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series and the latest versions of Intel® tools. It also provides a range of improvements to speed the certification, design, and production of copies of certified designs, along with other enhancements. Intel tools, including Intel® C++ Compiler, Intel® MPI Library, Intel® Trace Analyzer and Collector, and Intel® Math Kernel Library, have been updated to support the new processor.

In addition, Intel has provided reference implementations as examples of Intel Cluster Ready certified designs using Intel Xeon 5600 series processors. Each implementation includes the hardware and software components that make up the solution, the build and software installation instructions to replicate the original certified solution, and the Intel Cluster Checker input files required to verify a correct deployment.

Reference implementations are excellent tools for understanding how to integrate Intel Cluster Ready processes that increase the value of the program in reducing deployment time and increasing the quality and stability of delivered cluster solutions. You can use reference implementations as models to create and certify new cluster designs. These designs are available through the Enterprise Server Acceleration Alliance where eligible partners can resell these designs as certified solutions.

"Intel has put a lot of marketing muscle behind the new processors, and HPC users are getting the message," says Bill Magro, director of HPC software solutions. "This makes it a great time for Intel Cluster Ready partners to turn this investment to their advantage by incorporating the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series into their cluster solutions - and the new Intel Cluster Checker, tools, and recipes help you do it faster."


For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.