Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Storage System Makes The Move To Linux



Storage System Makes The Move To Linux

By Hank Russell

Silicon Graphics Inc. (Mountain View, CA) has released the Prism, a high-performance visual computing system based on the Linux operating system. This Prism is suitable in real-world applications such as cancer research, disaster preparedness, oil exploration and car safety analysis.

According to the company, the Prism is the first-ever visual computing system based on the Linux operating system. ?As we talk to our customers and partners, there's a tremendous wave of innovation in the Linux operating system and around that environment,? said Simon Hayhurst, SGI's product line manager, Visual Systems Group. ?We see it for several reasons. One, I think, is we're seeing Linux becoming a very popular choice for Unix. What we saw were people who traditionally would have said, ?HP-UX is my favorite Unix' or We support AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, MINIX' are now often saying, ?We really want to be supporting Linux as the defining operating system.' I think, from the software developer's side, they're seeing a standardization around that and they're seeing a growth in the adoption of it.

?The second one that I'm seeing is they're being partly fueled by Open Source and currently the adoption of Linux as a sort of free and open operating system of choice, a wave of innovation coming up in that community. It seems to be an area where people are innovating most rapidly and, obviously, our users out there who are pushing the boundaries of research or science are gravitating towards Linux because that's where they're feeling the energy.?

The Prism from Silicon Graphics, Inc. is the first-ever advanced visualization system for Linux. It is based on standards-based Itanium 2 processors and the Linux operating environment with SGI's advanced graphics technology. (Image Courtesy of Silicon Graphics, Inc.) The HiDEF camera platform from Helinet/Cineflex.

In addition to the Linux operating systems, the Prism also uses standards-based Intel Itanium 2 processors. In addition, Prism is built on a foundation of SMI NUMAflex shared-memory architecture. It gives the system the large complex data memory functionality needed for today's real-time technical environments.

?NUMAflex is the system interconnect that allows us to scale from a starting system in Prism ? which is two CPUs and two GPUs ? and scale all the way up to a system that can have six Terabytes of memory,? Hayhurst said.

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