Wolfram Alpha to Run on Supercomputers

Technology.am (May 13, 2009) — Wolfram Research plans to launch its Wolfram Alpha technology on five different locations, including the world’s 44th largest supercomputer. The Wolfram Alpha site goes live on May 18.

wolfram-alphaWolfram Alpha is a hybrid of a search engine and an encyclopedia, designed to generate the answer to a search query, rather than the most relevant information.

The company wrote in a blog post, “It will be the ability to handle 175 million queries (yielding maybe a billion results per day)—over 5 billion queries (encompassing around 30 billion calculations) per month,”

Wolfram Alpha servers will be located in five sites, labeled as 0, 2, 3, 4, and 5, with the “1” location designated as a backup.

One of those sites will be a supercomputer designed by R Systems, dubbed the “R Smarr,” ranked the 44th most powerful in the world as measured by the TOP500 list.

The system uses a Dell Cloud Computing DCS CS23-SH system, powered by an unknown number of Intel E54xx “Harpertown” processors. The other sites will also be powered by Dell.

“What computing power have we gathered in these facilities for launch day? Two supercomputers, just about 10,000 processor cores, hundreds of terabytes of disks, a heck of a lot of bandwidth, and what seems like enough air conditioning for the Sahara to host a ski resort,” Wolfram added.

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