Original Article from HPCwire available here.

February 18, 2010

Scalable x86-based shared memory systems meet agility and flexibility requirements of university's on-demand high-performance computing environment

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 18 -- 3Leaf Systems today announced Florida State University's Department of Scientific Computing has selected the company's Dynamic Data Center solutions to provide high-performance computing resources in support of the University's multi-disciplinary research. The 3Leaf Systems Dynamic Data Center Server (DDC-Server), featuring AMD Opteron processors, provides FSU with an agile and flexible x86-based shared memory system capable of scaling to meet the on-demand resource requirements of FSU's diverse user community.

"As an organization that supports true multidisciplinary research, we provide a general access computing platform that must meet a diverse set of application requirements for our user community," said Jim Wilgenbusch, director of HPC, research associate in the Department of Scientific Computing of FSU's shared-High Performance Computing facility. "3Leaf Systems is meeting our requirements for performance, flexibility and cost. With this platform we can add, remove, divide up, resize or reallocate resources across traditional hardware boundaries and seamlessly accommodate a variety of programming paradigms and application requirements. This provides us with a level of operational agility that we have not previously experienced."

Computational resources are a critical part of scientific research and engineering programs and play an increasingly important role in preparing students for careers in both commercial and academics fields. Recent advances in data acquisition, algorithm development, and computer hardware have made high-performance computing (HPC) fundamentally necessary to remain competitive. FSU has long recognized the importance of local HPC resources for research and education. Since 1993, FSU has maintained HPC facilities on campus, which have consistently put the University on the TOP500 supercomputer site.

"HPC solutions today face challenges in flexibility, cost, software development time and performance," said Dan Olds, principal at Gabriel Consulting Group. "High-performance hybrid architecture systems with application-level agility are the next wave in technical computing, not only for advanced HPC organizations such as Florida State, but also in cloud computing deployments for business customers. We're going to see more and more business customers turn to innovative solutions like this as their mounting needs for compute-intensive processing require them to get the most bang for their computing buck."

3Leaf Systems Dynamic Data Center solutions enable FSU to treat x86 servers as building blocks and coalesce them into contiguous pools of CPU, memory, and storage that can span across multiple physical machines and be allocated or de-allocated as needed. This enables FSU to build dynamic "systems" of any configuration, and flexibly push and pull specified resources across silos on-the-fly. FSU can allocate HPC resources to numerous organizations in near real-time as new projects are commissioned and existing projects are completed. FSU will be able to take better advantage of investments in memory by minimizing unnecessary data replication and eliminating memory waste. Such a distributed-and-shared system architecture also minimizes system management costs by providing a single management image.

"3Leaf Systems' technology is ideal for multi-disciplinary science since it can be used simultaneously as both a distributed memory cluster and a shared memory system," said Bob Quinn, chairman, founder and CTO of 3Leaf Systems. "Through our unique hardware-based approach to delivering high-performance SMP systems, we can provide research organizations such as Florida State with a level of operational agility previously found only on large mainframe systems, at mere fractions of the cost."

About 3Leaf Systems

3Leaf Systems develops innovative ASIC/software technologies that enable the Dynamic Data Center. 3Leaf Systems allows customers to merge previously separate CPU, I/O and memory resources from multiple x86-based systems into one large computing "fabric" so these resources can be instantly delivered to demanding applications, just-in-time, as needed. By leveraging cost-optimized components to build performance-optimized systems, 3Leaf Systems solutions make datacenter infrastructure more agile and flexible while dramatically reducing capital and operational costs. A privately-held company based in Santa Clara, Calif., investors in 3Leaf Systems include Alloy Ventures, Enterprise Partners, Intel Capital, LSI and Storm Ventures. For more information, visit www.3leafsystems.com or call 408-572-5900.

Source: 3Leaf Systems