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First Cray equipment rolls into NPCF as part of Blue Waters project

It’s not Blue Waters yet, but it’s an important part of the Blue Waters project. On December 1, Cray delivered a single cabinet of compute nodes. The full Blue Waters system will have more than 265, a combination of Cray XE6 and XK6 technology.

Experts from NCSA and Cray will use this supercomputer to test and evaluate the software that will run on Blue Waters. That includes support software for monitoring the performance of the supercomputer and for analyzing that data and improving performance. It also includes applications developed by the Blue Waters science teams—computing codes used in areas such as climate and weather prediction, simulating how the polio virus invades cells, and earthquake research.

During an upcoming workshop, participating science teams will use the system to benchmark and debug their codes. This will be the first time many of those teams will have access to the AMD Opteron 6200 processors, Cray XK nodes with NVIDIA GPUs, and the Cray Gemini interconnect that will be at the heart of the Blue Waters supercomputer.

Once the science teams begin using Blue Waters in 2012, this small test and development supercomputer will still be an important part of the project. It will be used to put new versions of system software and other tools through their paces before they’re installed on Blue Waters.

Photos courtesy of Jamie Enos.

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