Supercomputer dedicated that is fastest one owned by a college

Indiana University has dedicated the fastest supercomputer owned by a university to date -- the new Big Red II system.

Speaking at the dedication, the eminent HPC scientist Paul Messina said that Big Red II is a unique advantage for Indiana.

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"It's important that this is a university-owned resource. ... Here you have the opportunity to have your own faculty, staff and students get access with very little difficulty to this wonderful resource," he said.

Messina also noted that the system should help Indiana attract big research grants, as well as the best possible faculty members.

Big Red II is a Cray-built machine, which uses both GPU-enabled and standard CPU compute nodes to deliver a petaflop -- or 1 quadrillion floating-point operations per second -- of max performance. Each of the 344 CPU nodes uses two 16-core AMD Abu Dhabi processors, while the 676 GPU nodes use one 16-core AMD Interlagos and one NVIDIA Kepler K20.

The system packs a total of 21,824 processor cores, 43,648GB of RAM, and 180TB of local storage. It runs Cray's own Linux environment, which is based on SUSE.

Big Red II replaces the original Big Red, which went into service in 2006. That supercomputer reached maximum performance rates of 28 teraflops - -dozens of times slower than the new model. Both systems are designed to aid academic researchers in solving problems that demand enormous amounts of computational muscle.

"Big Red II will ensure that Indiana University remains at the forefront in the use of high-speed and data-intensive computation in support of some of the most vital and complex research in the world," said university President Michael McRobbie.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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