With the purchase of four Linux clusters from Networx, the Army Research Laboratory Major Shared Resource Center (MSRC) in Aberdeen, Md., is doubling its computing power from 36 to 80 trillion floating-point operations per second, reports LinuxInsider. Center director Charles J. Nietubicz said the center has been evaluating cluster computing since 2003 and the purchase represents high confidence in the approach.
Nietubicz said other vendors will need to improve their systems' performance or "reduce the price to provide equivalent performance."
Nietubicz said he was convinced that clusters can work based on the MSRC's ability to get certain computational codes used in fluid dynamics, structural mechanics and other processes to scale to multiple processors mostly by using Message Passing Interface protocol-based code. MPI is used to create parallel applications.
Nietubicz doesn't see any major limitations to clusters, and while not all code can scale on clusters, he said the same problems occurred as the center moved from vector to shared memory.