SUSE and High Performance Computing – Part II: SUSE`s evolution and position
To resume the conversation about SUSE and High Performance Computing, I’d like to reinforce that the past 15 years have seen significant changes in the high performance computing landscape. These changes are due, at least in part, to the emergence of open source and new clustering technologies. HPC on Linux has gained ground at the cost of branded UNIX, and today, Linux not only thanks to its low costs, but also due to its proven reliability, performance, scalability and security is the operating system of choice for HPC.
In the a bit more than 20 years old Linux history, SUSE was an early player – we’ve been founded in 1992, celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. SUSE has always provided Linux code to the HPC market. Since 1993, SUSE engineers have made significant contributions to the advancement and tuning of the Linux kernel and key kernel-related performance technologies. SUSE was also very quickly synonymous with high-performance Linux running on 64-bit and mainframe systems. It was the first Linux in the market to support 64 bit chip sets. From the x86 products of Intel and AMD to the IA64 from Intel and the System z mainframes of IBM, SUSE has been at the forefront of 64 bit processing. This is one of the important reasons why SUSE has been so successful in the HPC market. This technology segment was an early adopter of the 64 bit chip sets and has always been pushed to be on the very leading edge of technology. Working on some of the worlds most challenging problems the industry moved very quickly to the higher powered chip sets. This means that also due to it early support of the newer chip sets SUSE Linux Enterprise Server became the Linux of choice in HPC .
Our close collaboration with partners like SGI, IBM and HP was also more than helpful. As an example, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server became SGI’s strategic platform of choice, and SGI’s proprietary code for HPC enhancements (ProPack) was adapted for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Today, most SGI systems run on SUSE. Cray chose SUSE Linux Enterprise Server the basis operating system for their Cray Linux Environment (CLE) which runs on their supercomputing systems. And our latest partnership with Bull, the European leader in the extreme computing market, is accomodating the increasing demand for SUSE Linux Enterprise on Bull’s Extreme Computing solutions, and just recently became manifest in the availability of bullx supercomputer suite 4 on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2.
We support our HPC partners to deliver flexible HPC solution stacks, This is another reason that helped SUSE play a leading role in the HPC market. And it also has the benefit of giving customers many options for how they source and deploy their HPC solutions, rather than purchasing a pre-build and probably inflexible solution, which can lead to vendor lock-in. And our customers are very happy with this approach.
COMING NEXT: Challenges and Trends of the HPC market