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Sun Sets World Records for MCAE Applications Performance
Posted Wed April 19, 2006 @04:58PM
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Hardware Sun Microsystems has set new world records for performance running LS-DYNA and Fluent software in real world scenarios on their Sun Fire x64 servers.

Keeping up the record-setting trend started by a 16-node cluster of Sun Fire X2100 servers on EXA's PowerFLOW CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) application, the 32-node cluster -- now powered by AMD's Opteron Model 156 processor, the highest-performing single-core AMD Opteron 100 series processor -- set two new world records on LS-DYNA and Fluent benchmarks. These benchmarks are based on the popular versions of the respective MCAE applications heavily used in the automotive, aerospace and consumer products industries.

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Sun is the first vendor to publish results on a system that is based on streamlined, high-performance, single-socket servers used as quintessential cost-effective building blocks, which were running 64-bit SuSE Linux (SLES9) and interconnected using Cisco InfiniBand technology.

This combination resulted in a world record performance on LS-DYNA crash simulation code, which is used in the automotive industries worldwide and consists of two standardized benchmark problems: "Neon_Refined" and a much larger "3 Vehicle Collision." Sun's system surpassed all published results, ranging from one to 32 processors, that were posted by various hardware vendors, while maintaining superb scalability with the increasing size of the cluster. The scalability of these codes is non-linear as the size of the cluster is growing, with the typical sweet spot of 16 processors, where Sun's solution maintained 80% efficiency. Additionally, on the "Neon Refined" benchmark, the 16 Sun Fire X2100 servers are 17% faster than the same size HP system, based on HP ProLiant DL145 servers; 29% quicker than the IBM system, based on eServer 326 and Myrinet interconnect; and 56% speedier than the Itanium2-powered HP system, based on Integrity rx2600 Servers.

Fluent software is used for solving fluid flow problems and is based on a numerical technique called computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The FLUENT benchmark suite is divided into three varying in size classes: Small, Medium and Large. The 32-node cluster of Sun Fire X2100 servers has the best performance ever reported on this benchmark, across all three classes. For the same size of the cluster, Sun's solution performs better than the IBM BladeCenter system, based on LS20 blades equipped with AMD Opteron processors and Myrinet low latency interconnect. When compared to the systems based on Intel Xeon EM64T processors, the high-performance, single-socket servers from Sun are swifter than the IBM eServer x336-based solution, beat the HP ProLiant DL 360-based cluster and trump Dell's offering, based on PowerEdge 1855 servers.

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