FreeBSD Foundation and iXsystems Collaborate to Further the Cause of High Performance Computing on FreeBSD

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MEGACORE Project Gives FreeBSD the Resources to Improve Scalability on High-end Hardware

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iXsystems and the FreeBSD Foundation are pleased to announce they are collaborating on the MEGACORE Project, designed to push the limits of the FreeBSD operating system. The project consists of engineering and prototyping a server to test FreeBSD with major computing workloads. The server includes 80 logical CPU cores and 1 TB of ECC registered memory (RAM).

The FreeBSD Foundation has made MEGACORE available to FreeBSD’s developers and committers for the purposes of addressing SMP, memory, and general performance scalability on systems that are becoming common but which still remain out of reach for the average developer. MEGACORE is the most powerful machine in the Project’s test lab to date. The goal of outfitting a test lab with such a machine is, of course, to make sure that FreeBSD can scale up as more memory and CPU cores become more common in high end hardware.

Here’s a closer look at the specs:

  •     Quad Socket System with Dual 10GbE Network
  •     Powered by 4 x Intel Xeon 10-Core E5-4850 with Hyper-Threading
  •     1 TB of RAM (32 x 32GB) 1333Mhz ECC Registered DIMMS
  •     Populated with 6 x Samsung 512GB 840 Pro SSD in a RAID 10
  •     Redundant 1400W Power Supply (Gold Level - 90% - Efficiency)

FreeBSD developers will be using this system in several scenarios, including highly parallel software builds, massive concurrent database access, and the hosting of up to 80 virtual machines using FreeBSD’s native hypervisor, bhyve. All of these workloads are designed to show any deviation from linear scaling of performance. In a perfect world, every core that is added to a system contributes linearly to the overall performance of the system, so 80 cores ought to be 80x better than one core. In practice, there are bottlenecks in every system that prevent such perfect, linear, scaling of performance. With the MEGACORE system, developers can track down and address issues that detract from linear scaling.

iXsystems is proud to support FreeBSD by building and providing hardware for projects like MEGACORE at zero profit, employing FreeBSD core committers, sponsoring FreeBSD development efforts, sending staff to FreeBSD/open source-centric tradeshows and conferences all around the world, and donating a portion of its proceeds to the FreeBSD Foundation on an annual basis. “The entire software community benefits from improvements to open source projects like FreeBSD,” says George Neville-Neil, a Director of the FreeBSD Foundation, “and projects like this are critical to that effort.”

About the FreeBSD Foundation
The FreeBSD Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the FreeBSD Project. The Foundation gratefully accepts donations from individuals and businesses, using them to fund projects which further the development of the FreeBSD operating system. In addition, the Foundation can represent the FreeBSD Project in executing contracts, license agreements, and other legal arrangements which require a recognized legal entity. The FreeBSD Foundation is entirely supported by donations.

About iXsystems®
iXsystems is the industry leader in Open-Source-friendly enterprise servers and storage solutions. All of our products are assembled, tested, and shipped from company headquarters in Silicon Valley, and technical support is provided in-house by the same engineers that build the systems. Thousands of companies, universities, and U.S. Government departments have come to rely on iXsystems' customer-first commitment to excellence. iXsystems champions the cause of Open Source technology by dedicating extensive resources to several FreeBSD community projects: FreeNAS®, PC-BSD®, FreeBSD®, TrueOS®, and OpenZFS.

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Denise Ebery
iXsystems, Inc.
+1 4089434100 Ext: 120
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