WOA Issue 55

WOA Issue 55

In this issue

  • Isambard HPC Arm comparative benchmarks (CUG 2018)
  • Wireguard VPN
  • Sprint free data offer for Snapdragon Always Connected Windows 10 PCs
  • “Better than a Raspberry Pi” list (Carl Perry)
  • Rock64 mini-cluster
  • FriendlyElec NanoPC-T4

Isambard HPC Arm comparative benchmarks (CUG 2018)

The Isambard project released new performance results for Cavium ThunderX2 CPUs using dual-socket B0 silicon and comparing against Gold & Platinum SKU Skylakes. Simon McIntosh-Smith is Professor of High Performance Computing, Head of the HPC Research Group, University of Bristol.

Results focused on the HPC codes that are most heavily used on the UK’s national supercomputer, Archer, and showed that for these kinds of workloads, ThunderX2 is competitive with the best x86 CPUs available today, but with a significant cost advantage.

Citation: Comparative Benchmarking of the First Generation of HPC-Optimised Arm Processors on Isambard. S. McIntosh-Smith, J. Price, T. Deakin and A. Poenaru, CUG 2018, Stockholm, May 2018.

Wireguard VPN

Wireguard is virtual private network software with a novel design that puts most of the work into the Linux kernel. It makes use of familiar Unix networking primitives to control routing and filtering of packets, allowing the system manager to compose a VPN out of components that can each independently be audited for correctness.

The Wireguard VPN works out-of-the-box with no changes or adaptations needed on Arm systems; this was tested on a Raspberry Pi running Hypriot, as well as on a 64-bit Cavium ThunderX running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS at Packet. The software has been optimized for Arm processors for about a year now.

The project just announced that its VPN tools would be available for Macintosh and for Android systems.

Sprint free data offer for Snapdragon Always Connected Windows 10 PCs

Sprint is offering 6 months of free data to users of Snapdragon Always Connected Windows 10 PCs.

The fine print on the deal notes that the free data excludes taxes, fees, and surcharges, meaning you will end up actually paying something. After 12/31/2018, you will be hit for $15 per month after a $5 per month autopay discount. You must be willing to sign up for autopay to take advantage of the free unlimited data offer. Obviously, you do need to own one of these devices with a compatible with the Sprint network SIM, or purchase one from Sprint or other retailer.

The ASUS NovaGo, HP Envy X2, and the Lenovo Miix 630 are all eligible for the offer.

“Better than a Raspberry Pi” list (Carl Perry)

Carl Perry writes on his “Gig of Ham” weblog about a series of single-board computers that could potentially be considered “better than a Raspberry Pi”. His criteria include more system memory, better power distribution than MicroUSB, and native Ethernet support. The newest Pi 3B+ tops out at 1 GB of RAM, [email protected], and USB based Ethernet.

One of the big motivations for a “better than” comparison is the need for small systems with more RAM. In a cluster configuration it’s all too often that the various Kubernetes components use up most of 1 GB all by themselves, leaving just a sliver of memory left for actual applications.

Rock64 mini-cluster

Martin Alex Smith updates the progress of the Rock64 mini-cluster first noted here in 2018-W18. The 16-node system will be used for real-time nanopore genome sequencing analysis. The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics is in Sydney, Australia.

Minimap2 and Nanopolish #methylation detection up and running on static data; Comparative benchmark vs #HPC server in progress; Eager to hear name suggestions.

Minimap2 works with ARM CPUs supporting the NEON instruction sets.

Nanopolish is a package for signal-level analysis of Oxford Nanopore sequencing data.

FriendlyElec NanoPC-T4

The NanoPC-T4 from FriendlyElec is a Rockchip RK3399 based system with an introductory price of $129 for a 4 GB RAM, 16 GB eMMC system with native gigabit Ethernet and powered by a 12V input at 2A DC barrel jack. The 10 layer circuit board is a mere 100×64 mm in size.

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