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World’s Fastest Supercomputer Runs On Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Linux continues to dominate the world of super-computers, according to a list published by top500.org. For the first time since November 2009, a United States supercomputer sits atop the TOP500 list of the world’s top supercomputers. Named Sequoia, the IBM BlueGene/Q system installed at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved an impressive 16.32 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark using 1,572,864 cores.

The entire supercomputer runs on Linux, with Compute Node Linux running on nearly 98,000 nodes, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on 768 I/O nodes that are connected to the filesystem.

With 1.6 million cores, Sequoia is capable of calculating in one hour, what otherwise would take 6.7 billion people using hand calculators for 320 years. It’s composed of 98,304 computer nodes and covers 4,500 square feet.

The machine is used for dealing with nuclear weapons and extending the lifespan of America’s nuclear arsenal. Power wise, the machine is more economical as it consumes 7.9 megawatts compared to K computer which uses 12.6 megawatts. Out of all the nodes nearly 98,000 nodes run on Compute Node Linux, while 786 I/O nodes run Red Hat Enterprise Linux connected to the file-system.

Sequoia replaces Japan’s Fujitsu K Computer, which does 10.5 petaflops per second, as the world’s most powerful super-computer.

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According to statistics, 462 out of 500 super-computers run Linux, 25 run UNIX while just 13 use Windows. The preferred processor manufacturer is Intel which powers 374 super-computers, while AMD and IBM Power processors power 63 and 58 respectively. IBM remains dominant vendor supplying 213 super-computers followed by HP with 141 of systems.

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