ClusterVision has been awarded the contract to build the DAS-3 grid (Distributed ASCI Supercomputer). The DAS-3 grid will comprise five Linux supercomputer clusters, to be hosted at four leading Dutch universities using SURFnet's state-of-the-art dynamic multi-color optical network and Myricom's Myri-10G interconnect.
The University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Vrije Universiteit (VU), Leiden University (LU) and Delft University of Technology (TUD) will use the grid for research into distributed computing; Grid computing, services and environments for e-science in the context of the VL-e (Virtual Laboratory for e-Science) project; multimedia knowledge discovery (MultimediaN project); bio-computing image databases; and many other projects.
The DAS-3 grid will be a key research tool in the context of the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) funded StarPlane project led by the UvA and VU. The StarPlane project aims to empower Grid applications to use the most advanced features of the dynamically reconfigurable multi-color optical backbone of the Dutch National Research and Education Network SURFnet-6. Using photonic devices such as wavelength selective switches and micro electro mechanical switch devices the topology can be adapted to dynamically optimize the network capacity to the Grid application needs.
The DAS-3 grid will consist of five Linux clusters with an aggregate theoretical peak performance of more than 3.5 teraflops. The grid, if considered as a single system, would among the fastest computers in world right now. The grid will include more than 550 AMD Opteron processors, 1TB of memory and 100TB of storage. All clusters will be preinstalled with the Linux-based ClusterVisionOS cluster operating system, which includes all software required to effectively use and manage the clusters.
At the heart of four of the clusters in the DAS-3 grid will be a Myricom Myri-10G network, consisting of one Myri-10G switch that connects to a Myri-10G PCI-Express card in each server of the cluster. Each Myri-10G switch will connect directly to SURFnet's multi-color optical backbone. Myri-10G is Myricom's new high performance computing interconnect, which combines industry-standard 10-Gigabit Ethernet with Myricom's own Myrinet Express (MX) communication protocol to offer extremely high bandwidth and low latency.
“DAS is a unique test bed for computer scientists that has been used for almost 10 years for experiments that would be difficult to do elsewhere. DAS-3 will also strengthen the position of the Netherlands within European Grid research. I always like to advertise DAS as 'a grid that works', because it is simpler and more stable than most other test beds and because it has attracted hundreds of users,” said Henri Bal from the Vrije Universiteit.
“One of the key innovations in this project is the photonic and Layer 2 traffic engineering between the clusters under control of Grid applications that we will develop on this system,” said Cees de Laat from the University of Amsterdam. “We are excited to be able to work with Myricom, ClusterVision, SURFnet and their committed grass roots technical teams in making this project named StarPlane happen”.
“The Myricom technical team is very much looking forward to working with our academic and ClusterVision colleagues on this innovative grid of clusters,” said Chuck Seitz, Myricom founder and CEO. “We expect that the architecture and technologies that will be used for DAS-3 will set the standard for high-performance grids in other countries and for additional applications.”