[Bioclusters] Itanium 2

Joseph Landman bioclusters@bioinformatics.org
05 Oct 2002 10:37:26 -0400

On Tue, 2002-10-01 at 09:23, Donald Becker wrote:

> Our customers started receiving their first commercial HP Itanium 2
> systems late last week.
> Prior to that, all of the previous Itanium 2 system were at a tiny number
> high-profile, well-publicized sites with special agreements.  There were
> no quiet users with unbiased opinions running a cluster that you just
> didn't hear about.

I am concerned about the performance issues on bioinformatics codes. 
Early versions of the chip (including the Itanium 1) had some ...
problems ... with performance on common informatics applications.  This
certainly may have been due to compiler quality, as the Itanium series
performance is tremendously sensitive to the ability of the compiler to
optimize for the chip. 

I know that Intel released a new set of compilers.  I dont have an
Itanium 2 to do some BLASTs these days, so I can't really test the newer
systems.  Hopefully someone can.  

> As is usual in this type of product roll-out, the lead systems vendor
> (HP) will have weeks or months of near-exclusive delivery.  The tier-2
> vendors will get only a few sample systems.

True.  HP is pushing these pretty hard everywhere.  Unfortunately I
don't know how good a fit they are for string comparison codes (lots of
bioinfo) with small amounts of statistics. 

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Scalable Informatics LLC
email: landman@scalableinformatics.com
  web: http://scalableinformatics.com
phone: +1 734 612 4615