“Apple wasn’t a serious player until researchers discovered how well its high-end computer clusters perform for a relatively low price… The tight-knit supercomputing community was surprised by what Virginia Tech and Apple pulled out of their hat — and impressed. It didn’t take long for others to jump on the Big Mac wagon. The newest system aims to one-up Virginia Tech by linking 1,566 G5 Xserve units. Dubbed Mach 5 (slated to go into service this fall at the Army Research & Development Command’s Aviation & Missile Research, Development & Engineering Center in Huntsville) and being built by Colsa Corp., this cluster will have a theoretical peak speed of more than 25 teraflops. That would earn the No. 2 spot on the Top500 list that was issued in June,” Otis Port reports for BusinessWeek.
“A few other customers are picking up on that message. The University of Maine plans a cluster of 256 G5 servers. UCLA’s Plasma Physics Group is pumping up its Apple resources again, this time with 256 G5s. And Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Brain, Mind & Behavior has installed a 64-node Xserve G5 cluster,’ Port reports. “Meanwhile, Virginia Tech is dreaming of still bigger Roman-numeral systems. First will be System L, offering 50 teraflops or more. Then comes System C, with 100 teraflops or 100 trillion calculations every second. Varadarajan and his collaborators might just become modern-day digital Johnny Appleseeds.”
Full article here.