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Compute Cluster Software

Sun HPC ClusterTools Software

The Sun HPC ClusterTools software, which includes Sun's optimized, native MPI library, is based on the MPI development environment that Sun acquired from Thinking Machines Corporation in 1996. In addition to the MPI libraries, this toolkit includes a parallel file system (PFS), the Sun_ Scalable Scientific Subroutine Library (Sun S3L), and the Prism software. Prism software is a very powerful debugger and data visualizer. The Sun HPC ClusterTools software currently supports jobs running on up to 2048 CPUs and 64 nodes.

Forte Software

Although the GNU compilers are available free for the Solaris OE, HPC users are usually interested in getting the maximum performance from their system. For these users, the Forte development environment is a better choice, because the Forte compilers generally produce more efficient code on SPARC systems with the Solaris OE.

The Forte Developer software is Sun's development environment for single-threaded and multithreaded applications. Forte Developer software supports C, C++, Fortran, and the OpenMP programming model for shared memory parallelization. A very extensive, optimized subroutine library called Perflib is included, plus a complete development environment with context sensitive editors, source browser, debugger, and so forth. A very advanced analyzer for understanding program behavior, which makes it easier to optimize programs, is also included.

The Forte documentation, like other Sun product documentation, is available at http://docs.sun.com.

Compiler Optimization

For HPC users who are writing their own applications or compiling applications available from others in source format, it is important that the compilers generate, as the default, the correct code in the shortest time possible. This requirement enables rapid program development. However, the generated code is far from optimal. To generate optimized code, which might run several times faster, the programmer must direct the compiler to do so. On the GNU compilers, -O is the basic flag for this directive. For the Forte compiler, -fast is a set of options that are usually safe to use for code optimization.

If available, you should use routines from heavily optimized performance libraries such as BLAS, rather than writing these routines again.

The compiler documentation includes information on compiler flags. For more information, you can contact Sun.

Sun Grid Engine Software

Sun Grid Engine is a distributed resources management software. It manages, memory, CPU cycles, I/O, software licenses, and so forth as it establishes the smaller "cell" of the Global Grid. The current version is available free at http://www.sun.com for the Solaris OE and SPARC hardware; for the Linux operating system and x86 hardware. Because the source code is also available, binaries for other operating systems can be built too. However, only the Solaris OE on SPARC hardware is supported by Sun.


Myrinet is a low-latency cluster interconnect from Myricom. Drivers are available for the Solaris OE and Sun HPC ClusterTools software. For further information, see http://www.myri.com.

Open PBS

Open PBS is available for most platforms. For more information, see http://www.openpbs.org/.

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