Skip to comments.Linux dominates supercomputers as never before
Posted on 06/25/2014 10:20:01 AM PDT by ShadowAce
For years, Linux has ruled supercomputing. So, it came as no surprise to anyone at the Linux Enterprise End-User Summit near Wall Street that once again the Top500 group found in its latest supercomputer ranking that Linux was the fastest of the fast operating systems.
With 97 percent of the world's fastest supercomputers running Linux,
the open-source operating system has eliminated almost all its rivals.
As one Red Hat representative said, "The only thing that would be surprising about Linux being the top dog would be if anything else even came close." He doesn't have any reason to worry.
In the latest contest, not only did Linux dominate, but Linux showed that is slowly pushing out all its competitors. In the June 2014 Top 500 supercomputer list, the top open-source operating system set a new high with 485 systems out of the fastest 500 running Linux. In other words 97 percent of the fastest computers in the world are based on Linux.
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Of the remaining 16, 13 run Unix. They appear to be running IBM AIX since they're all running on IBM Power processors. The fastest of these boxes, the United Kingdom's weather predicting system, ECMWF, ranked 60th in the world.
Two Windows boxes squeezed into the list. The best of these, coming in at 294th place, is at the Shanghai Supercomputer Center. The remaining supercomputer, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology machine, runs a mix of AIX/Unix and Linux. Solaris and BSD Unix no longer have even a toe-hold in the rankings.
The overall performance growth rate of all the systems, however, is at a historical low. For the slowest supercomputer, number 500, performance has "lagged behind historical growth trends for the past five years, a trajectory that now increases by only 55 percent each year. Between 1994 and 2008, however, the annual growth rate for the No. 500 systems performance was 90 percent."
The hardware vendors are trying to goose supercomputer performance by making faster processors. Intel's forthcoming Xeon Phi many-core chip, codenamed Knight's Landing, is designed to deliver up to three trillion double precision floating point operations per second (3 Teraflops) in a single processor socket. That's three times faster than Intel's current highest performance chip.
At the same time, Linux is tackling its own performance bottlenecks. A great deal of the talk at Linux Enterprise End-User Summit has been about how to drastically improve the latency in both storage and network stacks.
Why so much emphasis on performance when Linux is already the operating system of choice for anyone wanting the fastest computing? Because research and businesses, especially the stock markets and trading companies, not only want but need even faster computers. To meet this demand for ever more speed, Linux is not resting on its laurels but working hard on going ever faster.
Yup. When you want real work to get done, you use Linux/Unix. When you want to play games, Windows will suffice.
Although these days, with Steam approving and greenlighting Linux games at an extreme rate, it may not suffice for very much longer.
Spoken like a true Linux Zealot...
I deal with your type all the time. This is the same attitude they had BEFORE windows took over desktops for $trillions of dollars of revenue
Microsoft has a tenacious hold on office environments, and many deluxe third party applications are purposed only to Windows, but Linux is catching up even there.
Microsoft had better business acumen.
Linux is software.
Oh really? My wife and I both make our living doing real work with Windows, for the most part. I suspect that most "work" getting done on today's computers is still done on Windows.
And no, I am not a Windows fanboy, in fact, I still have Gentoo linux installed on one PC. Compiled that one nearly from scratch. I have to admit though that Ubuntu is probably the distro of choice for most regular people.
Linux doesn’t have a bunch of crap running in the background
No Vax or C/PM?
Meh. I don’t run ZOS at home either.
I have a friend whow is really cheap. They use open office. I use office 2010.
I’m able to get a lot more “real” work done AND enjoy games.
And the last dual boot machine I had was windows and os2 warp. Never again.
I’ve never claimed to be anything other than a Linux partisan. Unlike the majority of MS-Window zealots though, I actually have extensive experience with both, and haven’t formed my opinions from ignorance.
Is this seriously what Linux people are bragging about?
500 computers that almost no one will ever use, that just chucks out raw data? Of course they use Linux!
And guess what? 99% of the computers that will ever do anything remotely useful with that data are not running Linux, and number in the billions.
I shudder to think how many of those 500 machines are used by the NSA to mine our data.
I have used one flavor of linux since 97 almost exclusively and haven’t looked back. Windows is fine for certain things, but if you are say for example a scientific modeler who wants their lattice-boltzmann code to run as lean and mean as absolutely possible, unencumbered by background processes and other computational clutter, then linux is the choice hands down. But I wouldn’t force the receptionist at the front desk to use it.
Every time I have to borrow a windows 7 or 8 laptop from a niece I find the waiting time to do anything agonizing. They have so much crap running in the background they run like molasses. I am always glad to get back on my Linux machine.
and emulators are nifty too
I’ve used both and both have their strong points and weak points. Really depends on your needs, budget and expertise. I don’t see one as any more or less productive than the other. That is in the hands of the user.
Are you a bot? Your fourth sentence is the exact opposite of your second sentence. I’d suggest opening a help ticket for your developer(s) to try to increase your consistency.
I’ve been running Linux since 1994-1995. I am not a “zealot”.
For my last 5-1/2 years with a company I moved data from AS400 to PC’s every day. And pushed the data back after processing. Part of my work was done in Windows and part in Redhat Linux. I needed both to get the job done.
I composed and published a 3,000+ page catalog plus supplements and indexes, huge seasonal promotion pieces and monthly specials. Database publishing.
The process was a total hack.
I also created the images for both print and the web.
Linux is incredibly powerful for batch processing images.
Linux is no longer a toy, it is a incredible work tool.
I am NOT NEW to this, I built my first PC in 1982.
I don’t want to force anyone to use Linux. I do wish there were more games being made for it though.
Emulators are pretty cool in the meantime.
Talk about reaching.
Very few computer users will ever have access to a super computer. one of the few that do, I can bet, are likely the federal spies mining our data.
Is that more clear?
Windoze is slow to boot and do anything. Kid borrowed my compter for an hour or so, and wanted to know how I got it to run so fast.
I’m also the one they turn to when their windoze boxes have Office version incompatibilities.
Here's a list of over 450. How many do you want?
I really like windows 7. Don’t know about 8. Linux has advantages. I ran ubuntu about three years ago for a while.
And I also used to own a Beta VCR that was better than any of my friends’ VHS machines.
My computer is now a commodity, like my car. I don’t have to be a mechanic to drive my car, and I don’t have to worry about highmem or anything else regarding my computer - thanks to windows. Once I understand it as I understand the controls for my car, I simply use it.
Also, it’s easy to get someone to work on your volkswagen than your Elf Formula 1 car.
Linux is not yet that user friendly for those of us that see our computer as a commodity/tool.
Ubuntu is very user friendly if you just need to go online and use OpenOffice and that kind of thing.
“Linux is not yet that user friendly for those of us that see our computer as a commodity/tool.”
Personally, I think Ubuntu 12 is more friendly than Windows 8, but I agree, some breeds of linux require quite a bit of technical knowledge to install and maintain.
It’s been a while. Still got the 8 in. floppies though.
I always had the idea that if I won the lottery I would buy the right to port a lot of old games to Linux (and maybe pay some people to upgrade the graphics too)
I think it would be cool to see some of my favorite old old games back in use.
They’re not just old games. I play Civilization V on linux, natively.
Funny about that.
As far as i know, the major CAD programs do not run their Client versions in Linux. Most are Windows only.
Some of us classify CAD and the associated engineering as "real work".
There are some old games I loved that I want to resurrect, let me dream! :p
I think you can play the old Infocom games on Linux.
I like the emulators but the keyboard is no replacement for a game controller. I need to get one of those things.
Surprised the macophiles have not jumped in yet. I remember one loon who was frothing at the mouth at Me not too long ago when I pointed out how his apple bricks were good for little more than paint and poster projects.
Kind of reminded Me of this one graphics chip programmer who swore up and down that if people would just listen to him, his beloved graphics chipset(s) would simply run rings around any standard cpu with a little tweaking of the basic OS.
And, of course, they show really pretty fonts for when you need a fancypants terminal to chat and send messages on:
I had an Altair S-100 kit that had the big floppies. Had paper tape reader dor it, too.
None - the NSA does not publish their capabilities on the Top500 list.
Do large machines at the NSA run Linux? Yes. Do they mine our data with those machines? Yes. Where would the primary NSA systems rank in the list if they were published? Their list ranking would be in the single digits.
Indeed. Thank God I don't have to deal with resources stolen because of anti-virus and malware scanners and other useless garbage.
I point I make quite often when comparing the two OS's salient points.
I too run the 'doze OS for those high-end Computer Assisted Design programs, specifically because they are not yet ported to Linux. Some of those programs however are already ported to Unix and Solaris so I am hopeful that once the userbase in Linux reaches a certain point the vendors will realize the market opening up and start offering them.
Really ticks off the Macophiles when I point out how out of all those high-end design programs, there are NO versions available for any apple boxen. The audible grinding of their teeth is always worth a grin and a smirk at them.
Ubuntu is very user friendly if you just need to go online and use OpenOffice and that kind of thing.
I felt it was good enough that I recommended it to my “cheap” friend. Meanwhile, I’m not much better. I’ve been using the free “starter” version of Office on my home machine for quite a while. I’ve made business cards, graphics for my bands, not to mention text documents without missing anything. Even without the ruler. I think they accidentally made it too robust. ;-)
A VT-100 terminal and a D/A board that was homemade. And RS-232. ;)
Linux people crack me up.
Walk into any Fortune 500 business and about 99.9% of the time you will find they are running Windows operating systems (desktop and server). Microsoft owns, oh, about 90% of the market share for home OS as well. SQL Server is the #1 database server and Exchange in the #1 email server. The list goes on and on.
But Microsoft is dying. LOL!
Okay, the RS-232 should take care of your output. Modem needs as well! You must have gotten an earth-shaking 300 baud out of that!