The Top500 has recently released its latest list of the world’s faster supercomputers where the Linux has once again emerged as a winner, establishing its authority on 498 out of the top 500 systems, isn’t it huge. However, the remaining 2 systems are running IBM AIX which is a Unix variant.
Almost All The world’s Fastest Supercomputers Run Linux
Did you know that why 99.6% of supercomputers in the world use Linux ?
Supercomputers are increasingly getting faster and in the list of the 500 most powerful, are already 117 who have passed the petaflop, while a year ago were only 81. The less powerful computer in the 500 since last year was 206.3 teraflops, compared with 349.3 teraflops from the last list published in this November.
In total, there are 498 supercomputers those using Linux, compared to only two Chinese supercomputers using IBM AIX, which is a variant of Unix. This system will disappear next year, as new computers in the post 500 will have about 500 teraflops of performance, leaving behind the 434.8 of computers with IBM AIX. In 2003, 96% of supercomputers used Unix, compared to 0.04% currently. Why does this happen? There are many reasons.
Free operating system: As we all know very well that Linux is open source, so it is 100% customizable to any level. In addition, this allows, if it is a security flaw or something that can improve performance, the solution can be applied immediately front of a proprietary operating system like Windows or AIX (IBM proprietary) own in which there to wait for the company launch a security patch for the bug.
Lower consumption of resources: Being fully customizable, you can choose to run the most critical applications to reduce resource consumption. Windows, for example, has programs running in the background that harm actually the performance of a supercomputer scale. In addition, Linux doesn’t need to have an antivirus or security monitoring system, due to which the tasks can be automated more easily.
Modularity of Linux: This is one of the most important factors. Because, a closed system prevents customization to suit the resources you want to use in the computer, while Linux is completely open and you can add modules without affecting the rest of the operating system. Thanks to this modular design, which can better optimize resources and reduce energy consumption.
Generic Kernel: The kernel source code can be written for supercomputers or mobile devices, which can take between 2 MB or 2 TB. So, all the things depends on the effort that is applied.
Scalability: This is probably the most important factor, as the adaptability is the ability of the system to accommodate higher loads. Thanks to this, you can easily measure efficiency, consumption, and performance of the computer. Add a new computer to the network that allows scalable processing capability.
Price: Using Linux costs you dedicate yourself to modify the system to your liking, as its license is free, as well as being safer. While if you use Windows or AIX over Linux, then be sure you have to pay good some of the money for the license.
No need to restart: Having on a supercomputer waiting for the restart could take hours. If we consider that a supercomputer can consume 15,000 kWh, it is a waste of money because you are not using the computer to calculate anything. With Linux, the updates are applied in live mode itself, so there is no need to restart the system to apply the updates thanks to its modular design. If a computer is updated or needs to be restarted, the rest can continue to run smoothly, so again we should thank to scalability.