[Beowulf] [tt] World's most powerful supercomputer goes online

Andrew O'Hara aohara at haverford.edu
Fri Aug 31 14:12:54 PDT 2007

Personally, I don't think this is much of an issue as a "criminal
cluster".  The problem with is being used as a cluster is typical of the
mind set of seeing a lot of nice, shiny new computers and saying "oh
wouldn't that make a great linux cluster".  The systems are too spaced out
and not a high availability system.  This would prevent a good run of
something like the LINPACK benchmark or other linear algebra packages. 
The issue could be if they developed something more along the lines of a
distributed system like SETI at home/BOINC which usually only works for
highly or embarrisingly parallel jobs.  Personally, while I don't see it
as much of a threat from that angle as from an invasion of
privacy/stealing personal data, I certainly hope my notion that nothing
happens is true.

Andy O'Hara
Haverford College '09

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> Message: 4
> Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 21:48:38 +0200
> From: Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org>
> Subject: [Beowulf] [tt] World's most powerful supercomputer goes
> 	online
> To: Beowulf at beowulf.org
> Message-ID: <20070831194837.GB12988 at leitl.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> ----- Forwarded message from Peter Gutmann <pgut001 at cs.auckland.ac.nz>
> -----
> From: Peter Gutmann <pgut001 at cs.auckland.ac.nz>
> Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 18:23:57 +1200
> To: cryptography at metzdowd.com
> Subject: World's most powerful supercomputer goes online
> This doesn't seem to have received much attention, but the world's most
> powerful supercomputer entered operation recently.  Comprising between 1
> and
> 10 million CPUs (depending on whose estimates you believe), the Storm
> botnet
> easily outperforms the currently top-ranked system, BlueGene/L, with a
> mere
> 128K CPU cores.  Using the figures from Valve's online survey,
> http://www.steampowered.com/status/survey.html, for which the typical
> machine
> has a 2.3 - 3.3 GHz single core CPU with about 1GB of RAM, the Storm
> cluster
> has the equivalent of 1-10M (approximately) 2.8 GHz P4s with 1-10
> petabytes of
> RAM (BlueGene/L has a paltry 32 terabytes).  In fact this composite system
> has
> better hardware resources than what's listed at http://www.top500.org for
> the
> entire world's top 10 supercomputers:
>   BlueGene/L: 128K CPUs, 32TB
>   Jaguar: 22K CPUs, 46TB
>   Red Storm: 26K CPUs, 40TB
>   BGW: 40K CPUs, 10TB
>   New York Blue: 37K CPUs, 18TB
>   ASC Purple: 12K CPUs, 49TB
>   eServer Blue Gene: ?
>   Abe: 10K CPUs, 10TB
>   MareNostrum: 10K CPUs, 20GB
>   HLRB-II: 10K CPUs, 39GB
> This may be the first time that a top 10 supercomputer has been controlled
> not
> by a government or megacorporation but by criminals.  The question
> remains,
> now that they have the world's most powerful supercomputer system at their
> disposal, what are they going to do with it?  And I wonder what the
> rating for Storm is?
> Peter.
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