July 25, 2011, 6:07 AM — Russia's profile in supercomputing is being raised thanks to a Moscow-based company and a Russian president who sees high-performance computing as critical to the nation's future.
Two years ago, Russia's President, Dmitry Medvedev, chastised his country's progress in developing supercomputers, saying in a speech somewhat sarcastically that "a huge number of entrepreneurs, not to mention officials, do not know what supercomputers are."
Medvedev is very interested in duplicating the U.S. achievements in high-technology, and last year traveled to Silicon Valley, visiting Google , Twitter , Apple and Cisco , and spoke at Stanford University about the need to increase technology investment in his country.
Medvedev has also been to Moscow State University to see T-Platforms' supercomputer. This 200-person, Moscow-based high-performance computing (HPC) company built the 13th most powerful system in the world as ranked the most recent Top500 list .
But the T-Platforms system also placed third on a new benchmark, the Graph500, which measures how rapidly a system can execute a data-intensive graph operation. The Top500 list, using the Linpack benchmark, measures how fast a computer solves a series of dense linear equations.
Steve Conway, an HPC analyst at IDC, said Medvedev has been urging high-performance computing investment "or else Russian products in five years won't be competitive in the world market, so the government is very much driving to increase HPC usage."
T-Platforms is promoting supercomputing use in Russia, as well as selling its systems in Europe, and aims to also sell in the U.S. market.
"At the moment it's a new technology for most of the people, but we are trying to expand the market [in Russia]," said Anton Korzh, a systems architect at T-Platforms. The company is also helping its potential science and research customers to design applications that work in HPC environments.