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November 11, 2009

Cray launches integrated workstation

Features Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows HPC Server 2008

By CBR Staff Writer

Cray has launched workstation CX1-iWS system, which combines Microsoft Windows 7 workstation with an integrated high-performance computing (HPC) cluster running Microsoft Windows HPC Server 2008.

The company said that the new integrated workstation system combines the interactivity of a workstation with the performance of a cluster packaged in a deskside form factor. In total, 32 cores are available to the user or workgroup. The product aims to boost productivity for engineers, scientists and researchers.

According to Cray, each CX1-iWS system comes with one dual-socket visualisation workstation, a three node compute cluster, storage and a 16-port gigabit ethernet switch. The workstation node features an Nvidia Quadro graphics card that can support two monitors for visualisation.

Three standard CX1-iWS system configurations are available, all based on the Intel Xeon Processor 5500 series. The midrange and advanced configurations add more cluster nodes, memory and storage. The advanced configuration includes eight 2.93GHz Intel Xeon Series 5500 processors with 24GB of memory per node, 160GB of disk per node, 4TB of storage, 16-port gigabit ethernet switch and an Nvidia Quadro FX 5800 graphics card, the company said.

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The CRAY CX1-iWS system is the newest entry in the CX product series and joins the CX1-LC product, which was launched in July 2009. Reportedly, the CX1 deskside supercomputer is designed to provide performance, functionality and cost for individuals and departmental workgroups who want to harness an HPC cluster.

Ian Miller, senior vice president of the productivity solutions group and marketing at Cray, said: With this new product, Cray expects to provide HPC capability to a wide new audience that includes R&D groups in small and medium-size businesses, organisations needing to solve problems beyond the limits of traditional workstations, and people wanting to implement distributed HPC in the enterprise.

With a list price beginning at under $40,000, the new CX1-iWS system will be sold exclusively through Dell.

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