SYS-CON UK Authors: Salvatore Genovese, Jeremy Geelan, Jamie Matusow

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SYS-CON UK: Article

Linux Networx Delivers to AWE

UK Agency Deploys Cluster for Visualizations

High-performance computing has always played a major role at the UK's Atomic Weapons Establishment plc (AWE), as the organization is responsible for managing the entire life cycle of the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent.  Since the cessation of underground nuclear testing, AWE's stewardship of the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent is dependent on the use of large-scale computer simulations, including the visualization of scientific and engineering data.

An AWE Evolocity visualization cluster consists of Intel EM64T processors, with each node providing 16 GB of storage. Each rendering node has a PCI Express interface to a Nvidia FX3400 high performance graphics card and contains visualization packages such as Chromium, CEI Ensight, VTK and Paraview.

Linux Networx Evolocity

The visualization cluster also includes cluster management tools from Linux Networx, Clusterworx and Icebox, to provide total cluster management from one interface. Visualization is an integral component of AWE's technical computing facilities, and is essential to the understanding of the massive amounts of data produced in simulations. With the arrival of high-speed interconnect technologies, such as InfiniBand, 64-bit processors and PCI Express, Linux clusters can now be used to build scalable graphics engines to generate detailed visualizations.

"Visualization and Linux Clusters have moved on in the last few years, and nowadays visualization technologies have to address more performance requirements than before. This includes large memory, 64-bit addressing, low latency interconnect, Open Source and the most recent development - a mature system management environment," said David Ball, Group Leader, HPC platforms at AWE. "These were some of the leading factors behind AWE's choice of Linux

Salt Lake City-based Linux Networx's experience delivering landmark systems to many of the United States' national laboratories, such as Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), coupled with excellent price performance, was one of the reasons for AWE's selection of Evolocity technology.

"We are delighted by AWE's choice of Linux Networx as a partner to produce critical visualizations in a Linux cluster environment," said Fabio Gallo, vice president of Europe, Middle East and Africa operations for Linux Networx. "We are committed to serving the needs of the most demanding production-oriented supercomputing centers, and are confident we can meet AWE's requirements for reliable, effective and easy-to-manage cluster computing systems."

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John Horner 06/23/05 03:18:21 PM EDT

Linux Networx Delivers to AWE, The UK's Atomic Weapons Establishment plc (AWE) has acquired an Evolocity visualization cluster system from Linux Networx, as part of ongoing research into new techniques for visualizing data produced by the agency's extensive computer simulation facilities.