IST triples High Performance Computing Cluster capacity
Now equipped with an upgrade that more than tripled its capability, the IBM high performance computing cluster housed at the Institute for Simulation and Training is operating around the clock at close to 100 percent capacity.
With the new components in place, the 648 processing cores increased computational speed more than three-fold to 6.6 trillion floating point operations per second (TFLOPS). Armed with this increased capability, researchers anticipate development of many more new applications, including support for realistic training scenarios with thousands of people training in the same virtual world and cutting-edge research in the physical and biological sciences.
The University of Central Florida installed the system through two Army grants totaling $2.6 million. The “Stokes HPC,” named in honor of Cambridge mathematician and physicist Sir George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903), began operation in May 2008. Users from UCF physics, math, computer science and nanoscience immediately saw results from the cluster’s original 28-node, 224 processing core hardware, designed to enhance problem solving for both academic and industrial research.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson helped UCF secure the first $1 million of the grant, applied toward initial hardware, software and research costs; U.S. Rep. Corinne Brown joined Nelson to help secure the remaining $1.6 million. UCF chose IBM to design the system and train researchers to use it.
IST is working with Forterra Systems Inc., a virtual world developer, to study hosting simulation applications on this type of computer for governmental and commercial purposes. According to Forterra’s Federal Systems division general manager Mike Macedonia, studies conducted through the grants will help Forterra learn how its realistic OLIVE™ (On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment) 3D Internet platform can take advantage of a high-performance computing system’s processing power. IST and SAIC are experimenting with the HPC’s ability to host the OneSAF Computer Generated Forces simulation system.
IST is looking for other opportunities to partner with government and industry organizations to perform research using the new system. For information on partnering with IST on related research, contact Dr. Brian Goldiez. Go to the HPC Website.
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