Monday, January 10, 2011

Would you like a supercomputer for the afternoon?

Did Amazon Just Move Supercomputing to the Cloud? reports:

Perhaps it was inevitable: the cloud is already parsing enormous quantities of information at a high speed for the world's webmasters; why not diversify its processor types and apply that power to problems that previously required in-house supercomputing resources?

That's the pitch behind Amazon's new GPU-powered Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) on-demand computing resources, powered by NVIDIA's Tesla GPUs. Amazon's on-demand computing resources have long been used for processing chunks of data too large for in-house resources--famously, the New York Times used EC2 to parse 405,000 giant TIFF files in order to make 71 years of its archives available to the public.

Making GPU-based servers that can accomplish the same thing is a logical extension of Amazon's existing CPU-based server technology. Amazon has also taken extra steps to make sure that these servers are well-suited to high performance computing applications, including 10 Gbps Ethernet interconnects "with the ability to create low latency, full bisection bandwidth HPC clusters."

Cloud computing fascinates me. There seems to be great potential.

The idea of rent a supercomputer for a couple hours seems cool.

We live in an amazing world.

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