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Sir Alan Sugar unveils new GridPP computer cluster
Written by Danrok   
Sunday, 06 May 2007 11:44
Sir Alan Sugar
Sir Alan Sugar
From Queen Mary Uni:

Viglen Computer Cluster Reigns Supreme at Queen Mary, University of London.

Sir Alan Sugar, Chairman of Viglen Ltd, has unveiled a new high-performance computer cluster at Queen Mary, University of London. In the month that marks Sir Alan’s 23rd anniversary in the UK computer market, Sir Alan opened the cluster – a high performance computing suite which will play a leading role in international scientific research – at the College’s Mile End campus.

The cluster has been developed by Queen Mary, University of London and Viglen, which specialises in computers and IT solutions. The cluster will enable the College to team up with international research projects and experiments, including important research into finding a cure for Malaria and searching for the secrets of matter.

One of the cluster’s major roles will involve joining with other clusters in the UK and overseas to form a computing Grid of over 100,000 processors. This Grid will analyse the deluge of data expected from the Large Hadron Colider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, which opens at CERN in Switzerland later this year. The particle physicists and computer scientists organising these clusters in the UK are part of the GridPP project.

But particle physics is just part of the work for the cluster at Queen Mary.  Through its connection to the Grid, it’s available for use by the whole range of scientists, from biomedical researchers searching for better drugs for avian flu, to engineers designing fusion reactors.

The new cluster has an impressive 182 terabytes of storage. This means:

•    It is 10 billion times faster than the original Amstrad computer
•    It can process in one second what would have taken the first Amstrad computer 317 years
•    It has the amount of memory required for 60 million MP3 music files
•    It has the storage capacity of five miles worth of personal MP3 players laid out end-to-end

Sir Alan Sugar said: “Whilst many people know me for The Apprentice, my staff and I continue to work hard to be at the cutting edge of Industry. At Viglen we have been a leading provider of IT solutions to Higher Education for the last three decades and the development of this computer at Queen Mary, University of London, will hopefully enable major scientific breakthroughs in years to come.”

Dr Alex Martin who manages the cluster, at Queen Mary, University of London, said: "Computing has always been useful in science but more and more it is becoming essential. Clusters like this one make it easier and faster to obtain results in many scientific fields and for the new generation of particle physics experiments that we work with, there would be no other way to deal with the data being produced.”

Viglen Chief Executive, Bordan Tkachuk observes: “Viglen shares the same desire for excellence as Queen Mary, University of London. In tailoring our technology to deliver this High Performance Cluster, Viglen is responding to new ways of working with innovative and flexible solutions. We have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the cluster to ensure Queen Mary possesses all the processing power it needs to maintain its position at the forefront of physics research and hope that our good working relationship with the university will remain for many years to come.”

Source: Queen Mary University of London.

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