NCSA deploys new high-performance cluster dedicated to industrial use | National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois

NCSA deploys new high-performance cluster dedicated to industrial use

05.31.11 -

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications is deploying a new 22-teraflop high-performance computing cluster, dubbed iForge, dedicated exclusively to the center's Private Sector Partners, such as Rolls-Royce, Boeing, and Caterpillar.

iForge comprises a mix of 121 Dell servers:

  • 116 PowerEdge M610 servers featuring dual-socket/six-core (12 cores total) 3.46 GHz Intel Xeon x5690 processors, 96GB of DDR3 memory, and 292GB of storage. The x5690 is Intel's fastest six-core processor and will provide excellent performance for CPU-bound codes. In addition, eight of the M610 nodes feature solid-state drives instead of conventional hard disks to provide a performance boost to applications that are particularly sensitive to local storage speeds and latency.
  • 3 PowerEdge M910 servers featuring quad-socket/eight-core (32 cores total) 1.86 GHz Intel Xeon L7555 processors, 192GB of DDR3 memory, and 292GB of storage. The L7555 features 24 MB of "cache" memory, which can boost applications capable of leveraging memory that is tightly coupled with processor cores.
  • 2 PowerEdge C6145 servers, which actually combine two complete servers in a single chassis. Each of these four nodes features quad-socket/12-core (48 cores total) 2.5 GHz AMD Opteron 6180SE processors, 256GB of DDR3 memory, and 600 GB of storage. These nodes are so powerful that an entire "power user" job may be able to be run inside a single node. Industrial partners are expected to use these nodes for memory-intensive pre- and post-processing and for highly threaded applications that perform particularly well on AMD-based systems.

    All of the nodes are connected with a very fast, low-latency network fabric: 40 gigabit QDR InfiniBand provided by Mellanox. iForge runs both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 operating systems.

    "iForge is a unique resource at NCSA, as it is designed specifically for commercial and open-source applications widely used by industry," said Merle Giles, director of NCSA's Private Sector Program. "This machine offers our Private Sector Partners several platforms to reach higher and higher levels of scaling and performance for physics-based modeling and simulation applications."

    NCSA plans to upgrade iForge with new hardware and OS software every 12 to 18 months.

    "Regular upgrades to the latest HPC technologies will help provide a distinct competitive advantage to our partners," Giles said.

    For more information about NCSA's Private Sector Program, see industry.ncsa.illinois.edu.