At the 2013 Cray User Group (CUG) meeting, global supercomputer leader Cray on Tuesday introduced the aggressively priced Cray XC30-AC supercomputer, the company's new addition to its series of Cray XC30 systems. The XC30-AC is aimed at a class of HPC users – the technical enterprise – that need high-performance computer technologies at relatively low costs.
"Innovation is not limited to Fortune 100 companies. There are many Fortune 1000 companies, and even departments within Fortune 100 companies, with a growing need for a supercomputing system that provides a critical tool for taking advantage of performing complex simulations," said Peg Williams, Cray's senior vice president of high performance computing systems.
With prices starting at $500 thousand, the Cray XC30-AC (air cooled) supercomputer economizes the packaging, networking, cooling and power options of the Cray XC30 system to provide customers with the optimal balance of features and footprint that matches their unique price/performance requirements. The Cray XC30-AC enables technical enterprise HPC users in fields such as manufacturing, life sciences, financial services and energy to apply supercomputing resources towards solving the growing technical and business challenges that can only be addressed with high-end HPC technology.
"With all of the features and functionality of our high-end Cray XC30 systems, our new Cray XC30-AC supercomputer is perfectly suited for technical enterprise customers, giving them the ability to leverage all of the world-class computational resources of a Cray supercomputer at much lower starting price points," said Mr. Williams.
The Cray XC30-AC supercomputer features the same key traits of the Cray XC30 system - adaptive supercomputing, scalable performance and tight system-level integration. Both supercomputing solutions feature the Aries system interconnect; a Dragonfly network topology that frees applications from locality constraints; the next-generation of the scalable, high performance Cray Linux Environment that also supports a wide range of ISV applications; Cray's HPC optimized programming environment; and the ability to handle a wide variety of processor types, including Intel Xeon processors, Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, and Nvidia Tesla GPU accelerators.
The key differentiator between the two products is the economized packaging, networking, cooling and power options. The Cray XC30-AC system features:
- an air-cooled, self-sufficient cabinet architecture;
- physically smaller compute cabinets with 16 vertical blades per cabinet;
- a single fan for bottom-to-top vertical air flow;
- no requirements for liquid coolants;
- lower network costs without the need for optical cables;
- and lower power option supporting either 480V or 208V operation.
"Cray has a history of leveraging the supercomputing technologies featured in their high-end systems, and economically repackaging those same technologies to offer solutions to fit the needs of HPC users with smaller budgets. Simulation is no longer bound by the high-end data center, and Cray's new XC30-AC system continues the company's tradition of creating purpose-built systems that appeal to new customers in expanding segments of the supercomputing market," said Earl Joseph, IDC program vice president for HPC.