[Beowulf] Capacity / Capability Computing

Lawrence Stewart larry.stewart at sicortex.com
Tue May 20 09:23:46 EDT 2008

On May 20, 2008, at 8:39 AM, andrew holway wrote:

> Okay, for those unwilling to leap the mental chasm :)
> Would anyone care to give me what they believe to be the definition of
> Capacity / Capability Computing.

In the HPC context, these words are used by the big labs to refer to  
different types
of acquisitions. The largest systems (Roadrunner, any Petaflop system)  
"capability" systems, the idea being that they can do something that  
can't be done with a lesser machine.

"Capacity" machines tend to be run-of-the mill blocks of 10 TF or so,  
cores or so, that bulk up the aggregate throughput capacity of the
collection of systems.  They are intended for large numbers of medium  
size jobs.

So Sandia's "Thunderbird" seems to be viewed as a capacity system,  
terribly special about it, but it can get a bunch of work done.


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