Alliant Computer Systems Inc, Littleton, Massachusetts has introduced a new local area clustering architecture for its FX minisupercomputers, allowing easier combination and management of multiple co-operating systems. Along with the new architecture, called ANSR/LSX, for Alliant Network Supercomputing Resources, the company has launched a new configuration of the FX Series; the FX/82. Alliant claims that the FX/82 computational centre, which supports 16 high-performance vector processors called Advanced Computing Elements, ACEs, arranged in a network cluster of dual-eight FX/80 systems, will offer eight times the computational throughput of DEC’s four processor VAX 8840, the most powerful VAX system available. Priced at UKP722,000, the FX/82 provides 377.6 peak MFLOPS and 235 Whetstone MIPS of computational throughput. ANSR/LSX uses Ethernet, and provides cluster-wide services, including job distribution, transparent file sharing and centralised system management: faster media will be used as they become more standardised and cost effective, says Alliant. Systems can be configured for a given mix of applications, and can be integrated into an existing VAX installation via Alliant’s DNX DECnet-compatible networking system and VAX emulation tools from Boston Business Computing. Network File System, NeWS, and the X-Window system are also supported. Alliant now claims that worldwide installations of its minisupercomputers now number more than 235.
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