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Tyan blows out super Typhoons

New company, certified software and partners
Tue Nov 14 2006, 10:17
REMEMBER THE TYAN personal supercomputer called the Typhoon? Well, now Tyan is about to roll out a whole host of goodies based on the successor machine, the Tyan Typhoon 600 series.

The hardware didn't change much from what we said, the biggest difference is the name. There are two models, the T-630 DX and T-650 QX, and the biggest difference is the DX takes dual core (Woodcrest) Intel CPUs and the QX takes LV quad core (Clovertown) parts. Other than that, they all have the same specs.

There are 10 CPUs, two per board, one controller node and four blades. Each board can take 12GB of FB-DIMMs, or a total of 60 for a system. The machine can have 2xGbE or one GbE and a 4x Infiniband port. The head node can take three hard drives and each blade can have one for a total of seven in the system.

The chassis also has a GbE switch and a KVM switch so you only need one set of controls for the box. There is also a DVD in the top, and KVM ports for each node to bail you out of really sticky situations.

The Typhoon also has three 600W PSUs, one for the head node and one for each of the two compute node clusters. The Typhoon has PSC or Personal SuperComputer appended to the name, and the personal part is all about power. The machine takes a max of 1400W, so it can plug into an ordinary wall socket without dedicated power. While 600W * 3 does not add up to 1400, one can assume that it was engineered not to be able to draw full power on all nodes at once.

The next interesting thing are Tyan's partners for both hardware and software. The most obvious is Microsoft, the PSC will be a great showcase for its Compute Cluster Server 2003 product. If you want to show off an easy to use cluster, just buy one and wheel it off the truck when FedEx arrives.

Several big name apps are also certified, gridMathematica, Mathematica Personal Grid Edition, LS-DYNA, LS-OPT, ANSYS 11 and FLUENT 6.3 are some of the heavy hitters. Basically the things you need to run on a grid should be there and supported with an official gold star.

Not to be left out, there are Linux offerings with complete top to bottom software stacks and apps. Linux is the 900 pound gorilla in this space, and that is not likely to change any time soon, so it is there in full force.

On top of that, there are hardware partners. Intel of course, and Mellanox for Infiniband, but they are far fewer in number. For a system like this, the software is paramount, and it looks like Tyan did its homework and lined up the right people.

Last but not least comes the new hardware division, TyanPSC, a business unit of Tyan. PSC is all about making clustered PSC products easy to use. It will config the 600 series products for what you need and send you one. It will also work with vertical market system integrators to get specific markets serviced.

If you need a personal supercomputer, Tyan will hopefully have a preconfigured part for you. All of the fun starts out at under $15,000, but if I know software licensing costs, the hardware will be the least of your worries.

Last, but not least, the keen among you will notice that the original Typhoon had both AMD and Intel variants. The new one is Intel only for now, but I would expect an AMD variant soon after the 600 series boxes hit the market in January. Until then, you will just have to suffer with 40 Intel cores humming away by your ankles, not exactly a harsh fate. µ


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