[rescue] Looking for SGI Meta Router

Robert Darlington rdarlington at gmail.com
Tue Mar 23 16:29:24 CDT 2010

Well, it was pretty cool and fast.  My buddy Mike re-wrote part of the IRIX
kernel to get a huge performance boost out of the interconnect (something
like 5x performance increase).   I came in at the end and was helping the
scientists there port code off of a Cray T94 and a J90 system over to it,
and then a couple of months later, from Blue Mountain to "Q", a little
endian Compaq cluster.   What a mess.  It seemed that a significant portion
of the time spent there was in porting code from the last platform to the
next and very little doing new things.  If you have any specific questions
for me, I'm totally open to answering them.   Obviously some stuff isn't
talked about but the vast majority is wide open to anybody that is
interested.  I built an O3200 cluster (several O3200 systems tied together
with Myranet, no router bricks) to replace it for some of the guys that
relied on Blue Mountain but couldn't get their code ported fast enough.  4
racks were roughly 25% of the speed of the Blue Mountain.  It's incredible
how fast computers are getting.  The current system there (RoadRunner) is in
the petaflop range, and the new box (Cielo) is supposed to blow it out of
the water.

Also, just an FYI, I was there for the dismantling of the T94 system (Zeta,
if I recall correctly).  There were several drums of fluorinert coolant that
I really really really wanted but they woudn't let me have em.  It really
was a thing of beauty with the bubbling waterfall chiller unit.  It was kept
off in a side room with the J90 and a couple other systems and was not out
on the main computing floor like the rest of the systems for some reason.
They were all on the same network so it wasn't a data security issue that I
know of.  Blue Mountain was kept in a whole other building.  I used to walk
from the parking lot to my office along a path next to that building, right
next to the 3 or 4 cooling units.  They were probably standard chillers but
they were down in the ground on the other side of a fence where you couldn't
see them.  All you could see were these huge concrete pipes sticking up (10
feet in diameter, give or take).  I guess they wanted to make it into some
kind of art project.   It was really neat with the steam billowing up all


On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 3:11 PM, Brian Roth <abacos_98 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>  > worked on Blue Mountain, the ASCI box at LANL
> Bob,
>  Wow! Now that is cool. I have tried to find out more about Blue Mountain
> but
> could find few technical details. I have a few pictures that were from
> press
> releases  but no Close-ups. HIPPI is proving to be another difficult find.
> It
> is pretty interesting that they still have part of it still in use. I would
> love to hear more....
> Brian.
> --- On Tue, 3/23/10, Robert Darlington <rdarlington at gmail.com> wrote:
> From: Robert Darlington <rdarlington at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [rescue] Looking for SGI Meta Router
> To: "The Rescue List" <rescue at sunhelp.org>
> Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 3:55 PM
> I worked on Blue Mountain, the ASCI box at LANL.  It was #1 on the Top500,
> but that was long before I got there (#29 when I ran it).   It consisted of
> 48 rows of racks, 9 racks wide (the one in the middle was where the HIPPI
> interconnect was).  6144 processors total.   To my knowledge they still run
> two of these rows of racks for driving graphics displays in my old
> building.   They sent the other 46 rows of racks back to Silicon Graphics
> around 5 years ago.
> -Bob
> On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM, Ethan O'Toole <ethan at 757tech.net> wrote:
> >  TeeHee. Nope, just a huge Origin. Building a multirack O3K system is
> >> pretty
> >> much impossible unless you get the whole system in one shot as the
> routers
> >> are
> >> serialized. I have a few of those as well. The O2K doesn't have that
> >> limitation. My goal is a full 8 rack system but the way it is looking,
> >> might
> >> not be possible either. The Meta router has proven itself to be a rare
> >> bird
> >> indeed.
> >>
> >
> > A while ago someone got the big system from LLNL IIRC?
> >
> > There were chunks of it showing up for sale. Lots of meta routers.
> >
> > I know it's odd, but have you tried asking SGI?
> >
> > --
> > .-[ Ethan O'Toole ]--------+ - - - - - - - - - +----.
> > : FLICKR   http://www.flickr.com/photos/ethanotoole :
> > : HOMEPAGE " users.757.org/~ethan <http://users.757.org/%7Eethan> <
> http://users.757.org/%7Eethan>
> >           .
> > `----------+ - - - - - - - - - +-----------=======--'
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
> _______________________________________________
> rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
> _______________________________________________
> rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue

More information about the rescue mailing list