06 February 2008

Running the Internet - All of It - on GNU/Linux

Everyone knows that Google uses hundreds of thousands of commodity PCs running GNU/Linux to power its services. Well, IBM wants to go one further: running everything - the entire Internet, for example - on an Blue Gene/P supercomputer running GNU/Linux:

In this paper we described the vision and exploration of Project Kittyhawk, an ongoing effort at IBM Research which explores the construction of a next-generation compute platform capable of simultaneously hosting many web-scale workloads. At scales of potentially millions of connected computers, efficient provisioning, powering, cooling, and management are paramount.


To test our hypothesis, we are prototyping a stack consisting of a network-enabled firmware layer to bootstrap nodes, the L4 hypervisor for partitioning and security enforcement, Linux as a standard operating system, and an efficient software pack-
aging and provisioning system. An important aspect is that while these building blocks allow us to run a large variety of standard workloads, none of these components are required and therefore can be replaced as necessary to accommodate many diverse workloads. This flexibility, efficiency, and unprecedented scale makes Blue Gene a powerhouse for running computation at Internet scale.

(Via The Reg.)

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