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Sun Unveils New Goliath Processor Clustering System for HPC Servers

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PALO ALTO, Calif.--Sun Microsystems here announced new clustering capabilities and software for its high-performance computing (HPC) server family that allows up to 256 processors to be used simultaneously, providing what the company calls supercomputer-class processing power.

The new clustering system links together four HPC servers, each with up to 64 processors. This allows users to aggregate processing speed into a system that is at least four times more powerful than Sun's previous offerings. The system will cost between $5 million and $12 million and can store up to 80 terabytes of information, according to Jamie Enns, manager of product marketing for high-performance computing.

The new system should be useful to large pharmaceutical companies and other companies working in bioinformatics because of its data mining, storage, and processing power, Enns continued. "Bioinformatics is an interesting area for us," he noted, adding that Sun's nonclustered HPC servers, with 4, 6, 14, 30, and 64 processors each, are still available for users with more conventional hardware needs. These systems cost between $25,000 and $1 million, Enns noted.

Bioinformatics and pharmaceutical users of Sun's HPC systems include Incyte Pharmaceuticals, SmithKline Beecham, and the European Bioinformatics Institute, Enns told BioInform.

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