Where can I purchase a single server capable of 512 GB, yes GB, of RAM?
The most I've seen is 256 GB (32 DIMM x 8 GB per stick)
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The HP DL700 series of servers support a maximum of 512GB of memory. The DL785 G6 which is being released in September will also support AMD's new 6 core processors.
Edit: I made the assumption you wanted x86 architecture here. But, since someone already mentioned Itanium I think I'll throw in a link to SGI Altix. Their Altix 450 "mid-range" server can go up to 854 GB and 76 cores. The Altix 4700 goes to 1024 cores and 128 TB of memory. That's not a cluster, but one shared memory system :) Of course at that point you're looking at several rows of racks of gear for this one "server".
Sun makes some really solid hardware. This one can go up to 512GB of RAM:
They also have a couple of SPARCS that can do 1TB of RAM:
A good option from IBM is the x3950 enterprise servers. They are System X (x86 / x86_64) servers and you can put up to 256GB (and 4 processors) into one node.
But you can also partition them together and have 4 x3950s acting as a single system, giving you 1TB of memory, 16 CPUs (Mmmm... hex cores gives you 96 cores total).
(disclosure: My company is an IBM business partner and we sell these systems)
Sun has released the x4640 (the successor to the x4600 mentioned by jedberg earlier) and it supports 512G of memory (64 DIMM slots * 8GB/DIM) and has 8 sockets (up to 48 cores). It is also only 4RU, so fairly compact for an 8-socket machine. I have used the x4600s on a few gigs and they have been great to work with.
HP DL 5 now is touting 2TB of RAM DL580 G7 Starting price $8400 US dollars 4 procs http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF04a/15351-15351-3328412-241644-3328422.html
$7700 for G7 AMD 1TB memory
If you have deep pockets don't mind what CPU architecture you use you can get IBM Power 595 machines with up to 4TB of RAM. I'm assuming that you want a wintel or lintel server.
For a wintel architecture with support for memory configurations of 512GB or more you can get 8 socket machines from Sun, HP and Unisys. Unisys also makes a 16 socket Xeon based system that takes up to 1TB of RAM. Some machines that support this type of configuration are:
HP DL780/DL785 8 socket Opteron (and an 8 socket Xeon-based DL780 G6 coming out soon).
Sun X4600, 8 socket Opteron
One of the other posters mentioned an IBM system that goes up to this spec as well.
We’ve burned one of the ProLiant DL785 G6 servers and what a powerhouse mainframe in a rackable enclosure. With the older DL760 retired, it’s good to see the monster ProLiant server is back.