NCSA’s iForge cluster gets upgrade

07.09.12 -

iForge, the high-performance computing system designed for NCSA's industry partners, is being upgraded with new processors and increased capacity.

128 dual-socket Intel blades (Dell PowerEdge M620) replace the previous 116 dual-socket Intel blades (Dell PowerEdge M610), three quad-socket Intel blades (Dell PowerEdge M910), and four quad-socket AMD servers (Dell PowerEdge C6145). Two quad-socket AMD nodes (Dell PowerEdge C6145) from the previous configuration are being retained.

This swap increases the capacity of the dual-socket blade infrastructure from 1,392 cores to 2,048—approximately a 50 percent capacity upgrade. The new servers feature Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU architecture, which offers a 33 percent to 80 percent speedup compared to the previous "Westmere" CPUs.

The new blades also feature more memory than their predecessors (128 GB/node), more memory bandwidth, and higher memory clock speed.

All servers in iForge will retain the 40 gigabit/sec QDR Infiniband fabric provided by Mellanox; the two quad-socket AMD nodes have been upgraded to feature dual QDR Infiniband connections.

iForge servers are also now "stateless," meaning they run without local hard disks. Instead, users store files and launch applications from a 700 terabyte GPFS parallel filesystem.

iForge also has been updated with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2, and various software development tools (compilers, math libraries, etc.) have also been upgraded.

For more information about iForge and NCSA Private Sector Program, see industry.ncsa.illinois.edu or contact Merle Giles, mgiles@ncsa.illinois.edu.