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The news in this category has been selected by us because we thought it would be interestingto hard core cluster geeks. Of course, you don't have to be a cluster geek to read the news stories.

Intel Opens Threading Building Blocks

For those still scratching their heads and thinking about how to program multi-core processors, Intel released their Threading Building Blocks (TBB) under the GPLv2 License with the runtime exception. So what is TBB? From the website:

Intel® Threading Building Blocks (TBB) offers a rich and complete approach to expressing parallelism in a C++ program. It is a library that helps you leverage multi-core processor performance without having to be a threading expert. Threading Building Blocks is not just a threads-replacement library. It represents a higher-level, task-based parallelism that abstracts platform details and threading mechanism for performance and scalability.

Rumor has it that the open TBB has been built and run successfully on non-Intel processors as well. There is even an O'Reilly Book written by James Reinders, director of business development and chief evangelist for Intel's Software Development Products. Have at it.

SpecMPI and A Cell Cluster Arrive

A few news tidbits that you may be interested in reading. First, SPEC has announced the release of SPEC MPI2007. You can get it for $800 and run your own tests if you so choose. I'm more of a a openly available benchmark kind of guy, but if you get tired of touting Top500 rank, now you can speak SPEC. In other news, Georgia Tech has announced the Sony-Toshiba-IBM (STI) Center of Competence which houses a Cell cluster (PS3 clusters are also available for the more bargain minded). And finally, i think Apple released some kind of phone, but i can't recall what it is called.

Farewell OpenMosix

In a posting on the OpenMosix project page, project leader Moshe Barr has announced the end of life for OpenMosix. The announcement suggests that the growth of multi-core and virtualization technologies have reduced the need for SSI (Single System Image) approaches to computing. If you are still interested in SSI, fear not, as there are some other active projects including OpenSSI, Kerrighed, and the original Mosix project.

Intel Cluster Specification: Are We Ready For This?

Intel has just released a program called Intel Cluster Ready. The initiative is an attempt to create a standard platform for ISVs to deliver software on clusters. It includes a piece of software called Cluster Checker that once run can certify the cluster environment (so that ISVs have a predictable software environment).

While this is a laudable goal, I wonder if it too Intel centric? A brief perusal of the specification seems to include and "Intel Wall" (Intel Compiler and MPI) that is required to meet the specification. I have not had time to read all the documents fully or try the software, so perhaps it is a bit more flexible.

Of course, it is not unreasonable to expect the specification to be Intel centric, but clusters, like open source, are about choice. Would an "Open Cluster" effort be more valuable to the community? What do you think?

New Kid on the Block

Update: now folded into Linux Magazine site (fixed link).

Can't get enough of clusters? Check out this new website Today's HPC Clusters.. The new site offers insights on the HPC Cluster Market along with tips on building and managing clusters as well. Definitely give it look. You may recognize some of the simian writers as well.

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