When I think of supercomputers, I see room sized monstrosities, probably belching steam and requiring their own nuclear power station to light the millions of glowing LEDs. However, Orion Multisystems has unveiled two supercomputers that require no special technology to operate; far from a dedicated power plant, all they need is a standard power outlet! Orion’s 12-node desktop Cluster Workstation was launched last year and is now complemented by a massive 96-node deskside system.
For the uninitiated, think of a node as "a computer", now consider 96 of these nodes running simultaneously in a cluster system that facilitates parallel computing to generate extremely high performance. Obviously the new Orion 96-node deskside system isn’t for the home user and would set you back something in the region of £54,000 if you wanted one, therefore it is more likely to appeal to specialist industries and laboratories.
It provides a practical way of supercomputing; the case is only 27″x 25"x17″, which is barely bigger than an ordinary server. Orion’s 12-node desktop Cluster Workstation and 96-node deskside system are currently only available direct from the manufacturer, but Orion is now in talks with distribution companies.