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Red Hat and SUSE Servers: Boston Children’s Hospital, IBM and SUSE in High-Performance Computing (HPC)

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  • How Boston Children’s Hospital Augments Doctors Cognition with Red Hat OpenShift

    Software can be an enabler for healers. At Red Hat, we’ve seen this first hand from customers like Boston Children’s Hospital. That venerable infirmary is using Red Hat OpenShift and Linux containers to enhance their medical capabilities, and to augment their doctors cognitive capacity.

  • Entry Server Bang For The Buck, IBM i Versus Red Hat Linux

    In last week’s issue, we did a competitive analysis of the entry, single-socket Power S914 machines running IBM i against Dell PowerEdge servers using various Intel Xeon processors as well as an AMD Epyc chip running a Windows Server and SQL Server stack from Microsoft. This week, and particularly in the wake of IBM’s recent acquisition of Red Hat, we are looking at how entry IBM i platforms rate in terms of cost and performance against X86 machines running a Linux stack and an appropriate open source relational database that has enterprise support.

    Just as a recap from last week’s story, the IBM i matchup against Windows Server systems were encouraging in that very small configurations of the Power Systems machine running IBM i were less expensive per unit of online transaction processing performance as well as per user. However, on slightly larger configurations of single socket machines, thanks mostly to the very high cost per core of the IBM i operating system and its integrated middleware and database as you move from the P05 to P10 software tiers on the Power S914, the capital outlay can get very large at list price for the Power iron, and the software gets very pricey, too. The only thing that keeps the IBM i platform in the running is the substantially higher performance per core that the Power9 chip offers on machines with four, six, or eight cores.

    Such processors are fairly modest by 2019 standards, by the way, when a high-end chip has 24, 28, 32, or now 64 cores, and even mainstream ones have 12, 16, or 18 cores. If you want to see the rationale of the hardware configurations that we ginned up for the comparisons, we suggest that you review the story from last week. Suffice it to say, we tried to get machines with roughly the same core counts and configuration across the Power and X86 machines, and generally, the X86 cores for these classes of single socket servers do a lot less work.

  • Rise of the Chameleon – SUSE at SC19

    The impact of High-Performance Computing (HPC) goes beyond traditional research boundaries to enhance our daily lives.  SC19 is the international conference for High Performance Computing, networking, storage and analysis taking place in Denver November 17-22.  SUSE will once again have a strong presence at SC19 – and if you are attending we would love to talk to you!  Our SUSE booth (#1917) will include our popular Partner Theater as well as a VR light saber game with a Star Wars themed backdrop.  We will showcase SUSE’s HPC core solutions (OS, tools and Services) as well as AI/ML, Storage and Cloud open source products.  Plus, during the gala opening reception we will premier our new mini-movie “Sam the IT Manager in The Way of the Chameleon: The Quest for HPC” which you don’t want to miss (we’ll provide the popcorn)!

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Events: KVM Forum 2019 and "Bar Charts for Diversity"

  • A recap of KVM Forum 2019

    The 13th KVM Forum virtualization conference took place in Lyon, France in October 2019. One might think that development may have finished on the Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) module that was merged in Linux 2.6.20 in 2007, but this year's conference underscored the amount of work still being done, particularly on side-channel attack mitigation, I/O device assignment with VFIO and mdev, footprint reduction with micro virtual machines (VMs), and with the ability to run VMs nested within VMs. Many talks also involved the virtual machine monitor (VMM) user-space programs that use the KVM kernel module—of which QEMU is the most widely used.

  • Enhancing KVM for guest protection and security

    A key tenet in KVM is to reuse as much Linux infrastructure as possible and focus specifically on processor virtualization. Back in 2007, this meant a smaller code base and less friction with the other kernel subsystems, especially when compared with other virtualization technologies such as Xen. This led to KVM being merged into the mainline with relative ease. But now, in the era of microarchitectural vulnerabilities, the priorities have shifted, and the KVM's reliance on other kernel subsystems can be a liability. For one thing, the host kernel widens the TCB (Trusted Computing Base) and makes for a larger attack surface. In addition, kernel data structures such as the direct memory map give Linux access to guest memory even when it is not strictly necessary and make it impossible to fully enforce the principle of least privilege. In his talk "Enhancing KVM for Guest Protection and Security" (slides [PDF]) presented at KVM Forum 2019, long-time KVM contributor Jun Nakajima explained this risk and suggested some strategies to mitigate it.

  • Bar charts for diversity

    At the Linux App Summit I gave an unconference talk titles Hey guys, this conference is for everyone. The “hey guys” part refers to excluding people from a talk or making them feel uncomfortable – you can do this unintentionally, and the take-away of the talk was that you, (yes, you) can be better. I illustrated this mostly with conversational distance, a favorite topic of mine that I can demonstrate easily on stage. There’s a lot of diversity in how far people stand away from strangers, while explaining something they care about. The talk wasn’t recorded, but I’ve put the slides up. Another side of diversity can be dealt with by statistics. Since I’m a mathematician, I have a big jar of peanuts and raisins in the kitchen. Late at night I head down to the kitchen and grab ten items from the jar. Darn, all of them are raisins. What are the odds!? Well, a lot depends on whether there are any peanuts in the jar at all; what percentage is peanuts; whether I’m actually picking things randomly or not. There’s a convenient tool that Katarina Behrens pointed me to, which can help figure this out. Even if there’s only a tiny fraction of peanuts in the jar, there’s an appreciable chance of getting one (e.g. change the percentage on that page to 5% and you’ll see).

Linux on the MAG1 8.9 inch mini-laptop (Ubuntu and Fedora)

The Magic Ben MAG1 mini-laptop is a 1.5 pound notebook computer that measures about 8.2″ x 5.8″ x 0.7″ and which features an 8.9 inch touchscreen display and an Intel Core m3-8100Y processor. As I noted in my MAG1 review, the little computer also has one of the best keyboards I’ve used on a laptop this small and a tiny, but responsive trackpad below the backlit keyboard. Available from GeekBuying for $630 and up, the MAG1 ships with Windows 10, but it’s also one of the most Linux-friendly mini-laptops I’ve tested to date. [...] I did not install either operating system to local storage, so I cannot comment on sleep, battery life, fingerprint authentication, or other features that you’d only be able to truly test by fully installing Ubuntu, Fedora, or another GNU/Linux-based operating system. But running from a liveUSB is a good way to kick the tires and see if there are any obvious pain points before installing an operating system, and for the most part the two operating systems I tested look good to go. Booting from a flash drive is also pretty easy. Once you’ve prepared a bootable drive using Rufus, UNetbootin, or a similar tool, just plug it into the computer’s USB port, hit the Esc key during startup to bring up the UEFI/SETUP utility. Read more Also: Top 10 technical skills that will get you hired in 2020

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