UCLA Plasma Physics Group to build supercomputing cluster with 256 Apple Xserve G5s

“According to officials, UCLA’s Plasma Physics Group recently purchased some 256 Xserve G5s and is in the process of building a Virginia Tech-style parallel super computing cluster. The cluster will employ 256 Dual G5 Xserves running Mac OS X Server to form a 512-processor parallel supercomputing cluster. The cluster is being deployed for Plasma Physicist Warren Mori by a team at UCLA Academic Technology Services led by IT Infrastructure manager Bill Labate,” Andrew Feder reports for ThinkSecret.

“Although the Plasma Physics Group’s cluster pales in comparison to Virginia Tech and COLSA’s, it is another step in the right direction for Apple as it vies for market share in the higher education arena. We are beginning to see, albeit slowly, the introduction of Mac OS-based servers into industry, government, and higher education as Apple makes inroads in these deeply sought after markets,” Feder writes.

Full article here.


  1. I think we’ll find the spin moving towards blaming Apple’s weak forecasts for the unavailability of the Mini and the iMac. I’m beginning to wonder whether the spinoff from all the Xserve G5s being moved [outside of clusters] will result in a similar shortage of G5 iMacs.

  2. go apple, get more supercomputers ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> at least this one’s not for killing people like the last one was.

    i never saw heartbreak ridge and i like my cute ibook better than a giant boring xserve. but i could sure go for a clusterf…. :O

  3. I just came from an Apple Center… Airport Express? “Uh, late July.” Dual 2.5GHz? “Let me check… [looks under the counter at the boxes; checks his comp for for 3 mins] uhh, end of July.” Screens? [Only posters in the window.]

    I’ll bet the G5 iMac will stock out quickly too (and I won’t even mention the Mini).

  4. mac beth,

    the only thing the MACH5 will be killing is teraflops… it’s going to be used to compute fluid dynamics, which ultimately will benefit the aircraft and automobile industries, among others. The US Army will continue to use Intel-based PC’s for killing, as that’s where they excel…

    Now, plasma physics, that’s some really dangerous, comic-book bad guy type stuff; who knows what would happen if that sort of technology got into the wrong hands… It’s a good thing it’s going onto a supercluster that’s not prone to worms, viruses or trojan horses!! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

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