Chapter 14

Facilitating High-Performance Computing

In This Chapter

Reviewing supercomputing functions

Identifying HPC enterprise strategies

Integrating HPC with cyclic tech refresh

As computer processing power increased, text-only displays gave way to fully interactive graphical user environments. You can easily see advances in processing power when you look at the evolution of video games, from blocky 16-color blobs to modern fully immersive, 3-D interactive environments.

You can also concentrate computing power to solve complex mathematical tasks, such as weather prediction, economic forecasting, oil and gas flow modeling, visualization studies, and biochemical analysis. This chapter focuses on mechanisms for facilitating high-performance computing in the enterprise to suit a wide range of uses.

Supercomputers Rule the World

The most obvious form of high-performance computing exists in the top-of-the-line dedicated systems created as custom ultra-high-speed machines suited to a particular type of processing. You can find examples of these systems in weather modeling centers, such as the supercomputing complex at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, in nuclear modeling systems developed for the Department of Energy, and in research facilities like the one housing the Cray X-MP supercomputer (see Figure 14-1) at the National Security Agency.

Figure 14-1: Cray X-MP supercomputer at the National Security Agency.

These systems cost millions of dollars and ...

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