World’s Most Powerful Computer: Powered By Microsoft

One of the things I love about Peter is the way he can look sideways at prettymuch anything, and will come up with an observation so stunning you can’t comprehend why nobody really noticed it before…

The only thing he neglected to include from this posting is the legend “Powered by Microsoft”; perhaps they should be proud of their trojan-ridden viral-incubating botnet-hosting insecurity…

Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2007 18:23:57 +1200
From: Peter Gutmann <>
Subject: World’s most powerful supercomputer goes online

This doesn’t seem to have received much attention, but the world’s most powerful supercomputer entered operation recently. Comprising between 1 and 10 million CPUs (depending on whose estimates you believe), the Storm botnet easily outperforms the currently top-ranked system, BlueGene/L, with a mere 128K CPU cores. Using the figures from Valve’s online survey,, for which the typical machine has a 2.3 – 3.3 GHz single core CPU with about 1GB of RAM, the Storm cluster has the equivalent of 1-10M (approximately) 2.8 GHz P4s with 1-10 petabytes of RAM (BlueGene/L has a paltry 32 terabytes). In fact this composite system has better hardware resources than what’s listed at for the entire world’s top 10 supercomputers:

  • BlueGene/L: 128K CPUs, 32TB
  • Jaguar: 22K CPUs, 46TB
  • Red Storm: 26K CPUs, 40TB
  • BGW: 40K CPUs, 10TB
  • New York Blue: 37K CPUs, 18TB
  • ASC Purple: 12K CPUs, 49TB
  • eServer Blue Gene: ?
  • Abe: 10K CPUs, 10TB
  • MareNostrum: 10K CPUs, 20GB
  • HLRB-II: 10K CPUs, 39GB

This may be the first time that a top 10 supercomputer has been controlled not by a government or megacorporation but by criminals. The question remains, now that they have the world’s most powerful supercomputer system at their disposal, what are they going to do with it? And I wonder what the LINPACK rating for Storm is?


via, alerted to me by Rajesh Vaidheeswarran.

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