X-bit labs: Why Appro is offering maximum 4-processor with its Opteron XtremeBlade and XtremeServers, while all the other leading server manufacturers already provide 8-processor solutions? Could it be true that Appro positions its clysters for 8-way server market?
The reality is that 4-way processor servers are going mainstream. With AMD Dual-Core Processors availability, 4-way servers offer 8 CPU cores per server providing tremendous processing power for compute intensive applications. AMD soon will be introducing multi-core processors and will be also extending their Direct Connect Architecture to provide enhanced CPU cores, increased memory bandwidth and higher speed IO bandwidth. It only makes sense for server manufacturers to wait for multi-core processor availability. In short, the long-term trend in the market is to adopt standard technology as a way to not only drive down costs but also benefit from economies of scale. Increasingly, that standard in the hardware layer is x86-based (Intel and AMD) systems.
X-bit labs: What is the primary target market for the XtremeServers? I am sure our readers would be very much interested in learning more about the architectural organization of Appro clusters, too. For example, what bus do you use to connect the systems with one another? The reason I am asking, is because the leading manufacturers usually use FibreChannel, and I haven’t found any details about it on your site.
Appro’s XtremeServer line of products will benefit, in particular industries that requires compute intensive performance while satisfying the needs for higher reliability such as financial or Oil and Gas seismic simulation, database, web servers or engineering applications. Any compute-intensive multi-threaded applications will see an immediate benefit as well. In addition, Infiniband and PCI-Express technologies improve the memory and I/O latency. This is important as 64 bit applications make their way into the marketplace. In the end, we see this technology as being completely pervasive. Appro provides customer-focused innovations that our High-Performance and Enterprise computing customers' require. Appro current servers support PCI- X and PCI -Express on board. In addition, for high- speed interconnect options, our servers support copper Gigabit ports and Infiniband. We could install Fiber Channel card as well. Flexibility is the key. At Appro we take a vertical integrated approach to delivering every order, since testing the interoperability of the entire cluster is just as important as burning in each node. This also provides a whole new meaning to out of box experience.
X-bit labs: Of course, I would also like to ask you about how business is going in general for Appro. I would assume it is going pretty well, isn’t it? :)
Business is booming. With the availability of our new 1U and 3U XtremeServers, Appro is making a significant contribution to the High Performance and Enterprise computing markets. We look forward to continue to look ahead for more product innovations to meet and exceed our customer’s expectations.
X-bit labs: What platforms (processors) are the most popular these days?
Applications that require high bandwidth and low latency access to system memory benefit from Opteron technology, especially true for high performance cluster computing but also applicable to a large number of commercial applications as well.
Two-processor and four-processor platforms based upon Opteron technology provide more than the system memory bandwidth at lower latencies than current Xeon and Xeon MP based platforms. Also, Opteron technology allows memory and I/O resources to scale with additional processing power providing increased levels of system resources as computing needs increase. Combining resource scaling with Opteron's Hyper Transport technology allows for those system resources to be shared effectively across all processing units benefiting many multi-threaded applications and provides for high levels of scalability from UP to DP to a four-processor.
Additionally, customers who need to run existing 32-bit applications along with 64-bit applications can benefit from the simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit computing capabilities of Opteron technology. In those environments, 32-bit application performance is not compromised. Also, applications that need large memory addressing such as those with large datasets (financial and scientific modeling applications) or must manage a large number of concurrent users or application threads such as large databases and data warehouse applications for solutions in customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and digital rights management (DRM) systems can benefit from Opteron's low latency memory architectures.