HP Resurrects Apollo as a Supercomputer Platform

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While interest in high-performance computing (HPC) has always been strong among organizations running technical applications, the rise of analytics in business environments has more organizations than ever looking into the merits of HPC server platforms.

Looking to address that opportunity, Hewlett-Packard at the HP Discover 2014 conference unveiled air-cooled and water-cooled supercomputer platforms running standard x86 processors to address the workload requirements of high-performance applications.

In a nod that harkens back to Apollo Computer, which HP acquired in 1989, John Gromala, senior director for Hyperscale Product Management in the HP Servers group, says the HP Apollo 6000 and HP Apollo 8000 supercomputers are well suited for a broad range of compute-intensive applications.

The air-cooled HP Apollo 6000 can be configured with packs of up to 160 Intel Xeon servers per rack in much less physical space while consuming 46 percent less energy.

The water-cooled HP Apollo 8000 can be configured with 144 servers per rack, but offers four times the teraflops per rack than an air-cooled system. Using standard tap water that doesn’t have to be cooled, HP says the HP Apollo 8000 system can eliminate 3,800 tons of carbon dioxide waste a year.

Supercomputers are clearly starting to move beyond the laboratory in the age of Big Data analytics and the cloud. While they are clearly more expensive than traditional x86 servers to acquire, the cost of the hardware is usually a fraction of the business value the applications running on them normally create.