The World's Fastest Supercomputer Runs On Ubuntu and OpenStack
If you look at the guts of some of the world's fastest supercomputers, you might be surprised at how much open source technology you find. Linux has long powered many significant supercomputers, and the Ubuntu Insights blog recently noted that China's Tianhe-2, the world's fastest supercomputer, runs both Ubuntu and OpenStack.
China's National University of Defense Technology, NUDT, developed Tianhe-2, and the organization is collaborating with Canonical. According to Ubuntu Insights:
"The new collaboration with Canonical will enable Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Openstack and Ubuntu’s orchestration tool, Juju, to run Tienhe2. Today, Ubuntu OpenStack is running on 256 high performance nodes and this will grow to over 6400 nodes in the coming months. The nodes will be available to Government departments in Guangdong province as well as other NUDT partners for analysis, census, and eGovernment applications."
"Both OpenStack and Ubuntu’s orchestration tool, Juju, will run on Tianhe-2 to enable NUDT partners and affiliate to rapidly deploy and manage very high performance cloud environments. The Juju orchestration tool makes it easy to design, deploy, scale and manage cloud workloads in OpenStack environments. Workloads running on Tianhe-2 will enjoy higher inter-connect bandwidth and computing power for point heavy or memory intensive application."
“To see the fastest supercomputer running OpenStack is already a beautiful thing,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, in a statement. “To see it running OpenStack with workloads orchestrated by Ubuntu Juju is incredibly powerful. We can’t wait to see it rolled out further.”
Tianhe-2 has held the record for the world’s fastest supercomputer since 2013, having recorded results of Linpack Performance (Rmax)33,862.7 TFlop/s.
The Ubuntu, OpenStack mashup on Tianhe-2 isn't the only surprising appearance for open source technology on a supercomputer. Not long ago, news came from the University of Southampton that Professor Simon Cox and his team of researchers have lashed together an actual supercomputer made of 64 credit card-sized Raspberry Pis using Lego pieces as the glue for the cluster. We covered the Raspberry Pi-driven speed demon in this post, and a component of it is seen at left.