Stories by Alan Zeichick

Off-the-shelf clusters from Dell

SAN FRANCISCO (09/26/2003) - Huge data sets, heavy-duty algorithms: That's the foundation of HPC. Forget about serving up Web pages or sharing files; HPC applications crunch numbers, lots of numbers, typically based on the contents of terabyte databases. They look through earthquake data to discover new fault lines. They simulate molecular behavior in order to test new drugs. They model the airflow over an aircraft wing or automobile body to determine fuel efficiency.

Supercomputer for the masses

SAN FRANCISCO (09/26/2003) - Until now, most high-performance computing clusters were hand-built affairs found mainly in large universities, lovingly designed by enthusiastic professors and tended by sleep-deprived graduate students. But now Dell Inc. -- which was appropriately enough started in a dorm room -- has begun to commercialize the HPC (high-performance computing) market, offering pre-configured supercomputer clusters that combine everything from the servers to racks to software integration.

Hedging your bets on the outcome of SCO's lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (09/19/2003) - What can you do to protect yourself in case SCO is successful in its quest? Maybe the best strategy is to do nothing. It's a reasonable bet that SCO will lose or that any settlement costs will be borne by IBM Corp., Red Hat Inc., and/or other large companies that have a vested interest in distributing Linux-based hardware and software.

Virtualization eases integration

Looking for a surefire way to simplify SAN administration and make integration a snap? Look no further than virtualization, the secret sauce in the Fujitsu Software Technology (Fujitsu Softek) and IBM solutions.

SAN integration challenge

Storage technology marches on. SANs are faster, easier to scale, higher performing, and more robust than ever — individually. However, the challenge of integrating multiple SANs remains vexing. Although integrated reporting and alerting is easy, it's nearly impossible to truly merge multiple vendors' storage networks without using invasive storage virtualization servers that add their own layer of complexity to the network.

Integration remains the big storage problem

There are sound reasons for an enterprise to integrate its SANs. An FC-based SAN is truly its own island of computing. Each dedicated network comprises a fabric that links numerous servers, multi-terabyte disk arrays, and other devices. The fabric, centered around one or more FC switches, ties all of these devices together, allowing reliable, high-speed access to allocated storage resources from the servers connected to the SANs.

No room for server failure

Sometimes, you simply can't afford a server failure. Maybe it's a system that monitors safety conditions at a factory, or an application that records financial transactions. Maybe it's a bottleneck back-end database server that supports a distributed Web farm.