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Wonder whats left of old Cray besides the name ?

Book tip: https://www.amazon.com/Supermen-Seymour-Technical-Wizards-Su...

Not a lot. They sold off their interconnect technology which was their last real secret sauce. Now they really just sell turnkey x86 HPC clusters with some mainframe-esque job dispatch software.

Even though Cray sold the rights to Aries (the interconnect) to Intel, they still sell x86 Aries based systems - XC30, XC40, XC50. They also sell more generic HPC clusters, originally from Appro whom they bought in 2012.

...turnkey HPC clusters with liquid cooling, DC power distribution, extraordinarily dense compute blades, custom HPC network fabrics, and embedded management processors throughout to gather monitoring data.

It's a shame you can't get a cable to link computers via PCIe (supports cables over 3m[0]). Multiple x16 connections that would lead to some decent bandwidth while being low-latency, without the network overhead or shelling out for high-end switches.

You can skip halfway. [0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5xvwPa3r7M

Using dual port adapters, you can do a three-node Infiniband ring with no routers involved and get full speed. Dual port FDR (40 Gbit/s) cards are about $150 on Ebay nowadays. If you've bought the hardware to warrant needing such a setup (i.e. 3 dual-socket Xeon servers), that's a very negligible cost.

PCIe fabrics exist but they're not as great as you might expect. Because of the slow 8 Gbps lane speed the cables are enormous and the switches support very few ports. And the DMA engine may not give you the performance you expect if it doesn't have NIC-like features.


Cray has produced (still producing?) some compilers for HPC applications that are considered pretty decent. At the very least, some very large legacy codes got caught up in the vendor lock-out - in software that usually means non-portable preprocessor directives for example.

I think I clicked through to the comments because I was wondering exactly this. Thanks for the rec.

Chapel the programming language is really from Cray, in the spirit of classical Cray.

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