January 30, 2001

Scyld announces the release of its next generation cluster

Author: JT Smith

Scyld Computing
Corporation today released the first commercial version of its
Scyld Beowulf Next Generation Cluster Operating System
software. The first of quarterly planned releases, the Scyld
Beowulf software provides simplified cluster integration and
setup, easy administration, and seamless scalability.

Beowulf-style cluster systems are computers running
open-source operating systems that are networked together to
form a parallel processing supercomputer. The Scyld Beowulf
distribution is the next generation Beowulf operating system.
It includes an enhanced Linux kernel, libraries, and utilities
specifically designed for clustering. The Scyld Beowulf system
provides a stable, standard, supported platform for the
deployment of advanced clustering applications.

The Scyld Beowulf release and Scyld's formation is in
response to a driving market need for a cluster operating
system for high performance computing. The operating system is
the next generation of Beowulf style computing originally
architected by Donald Becker, Scyld's CTO, along with other
Scyld developers who were also part of the original Beowulf
project at NASA.

With the Scyld Beowulf cluster operating system standard,
many industries will be able to write computational and data
intensive applications which can be applied on commodity
hardware around the world at significant price savings.

Patrick Webb, as Steering Committee Membero fo the Houston
Technology Center and CEO of the venture capital firm Enfinit
Global Partners stated, "With the Scyld Beowulf operating
system as a standard, manu industries will be able to write
computational and data intensive applications that can be
applied on commodity hardware around the world at
significant price savings from traditional systems."

"Our mission at Scyld is to create software that will bring
high-performance computing to the marketplace", said Becker.
"This release significantly provides a strong, commong,
standard foundation upon which high performance parallel
computing applications and systems will grow. The result will
stimulate deployment of turn-key commercial applications".

Donald Becker and members of the original Beowulf team of
developers have since augmented Scyld with five other top-level
NASA software and systems engineers familiar with the
discipline and rigor it takes to develop and deploy truly
"mission critical" systems. "When you launch or re-enter a
satellite, you only have one chance to get it right." states
Tom Quinn, ex-NASA employee responsible for systems on over 4
satellites and the recent successful re-entry of NASA'a Compton
Gamma Ray Observatory. Now Director of Operations and Business
Development at Scyld, Quinn states, "Our software engineering,
development, quality control, test methodologies, and support
at Scyld is nothing short of the processes we used at NASA to
ensure a successful mission."

Scyld released its "Preview" edition of Scyld Beowulf
software at the Atlanta Linux Showcase on October 11, 2000.
Since the release, Scyld has received world-wide interest and
positive feedback about the advanced technology and features of
its product.

The preview release featured Scyld Beowulf's core
technologies and features. Scyld Beowulf enhances the Linux
kernel with features that allow users to start, observe, and
control processes on cluster nodes from the cluster's front-end
computer while supporting standard Linux interfaces and tools.
The result is that the cluster appears to be more like a single
multiprocessor computer to a user or developer. This reduces
the cost of cluster application development, testing, training,
and administration. The system is also simple to install,
update and scale based on Scyld's unique cluster installation
and slave boot software.

Joe Barr of Linuxworld states, "The most amazing thing I saw
on the exhibit room floor (of ALS) was probably the
transformation of the email garden into a Beowulf cluster.
Honest. And it only took about 10 or 15 minutes for Scyld
Computing to convert the machines on the LAN into a
supercomputer."

This latest release adds many new features over the preview
including slave node power and state controls to ease
administrative tasks, user and group permissions to allow
cluster sharing and security, improved GUI and command line
tools for setup and administration, improved diagnostics and
run-time status reporting to help optimize cluster performance,
broader hardware support with updated driver packages, and
tools for easy hardware compatibility checks and
demonstrations. These improvements and many others show Scyld's
commitment to providing the best operating system and tools for
Beowulf clustering.

Scyld has formed, and is in the process of forming,
partnerships and alliances with over two dozen corporations
around the world including experienced traditional high
performance computer providers and system integrators such as
API, Compaq, Microway, Paralogic, Aspen Systems, Atipa, eLinux,
Linux Networx, Myricom, PSSC Labs, VA Linux, and Cendio Systems
amongst others. The interest from traditional parallel
application and tool providers has been great and is leading to
partnerships and alliances with MPI-Softtech, Wolfram
(Mathematica), Backbone Networks, NAMD, and Veridian. Scyld has
a formal "Authorized Vendor" Program where it certifies, trains
and teams with system vendors to provide off-the-shelf, fully
integrated and supported turn-key cluster systems.

About Scyld Computing Corporation

Scyld Computing Corporation is the leading developer of
second generation Beowulf cluster operating systems. Donald
Becker, CTO, and Scyld developers are known in the Linux
community for their extensive contributions to the Linux
kernel. Based in Annapolis, Maryland, Scyld is a privately held
company. Further information may be obtained at www.scyld.com.
Scyld Beowulf and Scyld Computing are registered trademarks of
Scyld Computing Corporation.

About Beowulf

Beowulf, and Beowulf clustering are terms that describe a
technique of connecting commodity computers together using a
modified version of Linux, to create a High Performance
Computer. Started in 1993, by Donald Becker and Thomas
Sterling, early development was sponsored by NASA. In 1997,
Beowulf clusters broke the ten billion operations per second
mark, and today can perform over 200 billion operations per
second. Today, there are tens of thousands of Beowulf clusters
installed in government, educational, and commercial
facilities. Beowulf is a descriptive service mark held by Linux
International.

Submitted by Tom Quinn.

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