MSU Celebrates Arrival of New Supercomputer

June 10, 2016

EAST LANSING, Mich., June 10 — Michigan State University’s Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER) is set to introduce its newest supercomputing resource for campus use at a Cluster Ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 10. At the event, iCER will celebrate the launch of three new hybrid clusters in the High Performance Computing Center (HPCC)’s supercomputing system. This addition will elevate the school’s capacity for academic work that can be facilitated by utilizing high-performance computing.

“It’s an exciting time for the computational sciences at MSU,” said iCER Director Kennie Merz. “Our researchers are poised to tackle transformative problems ranging from the discovery of new drugs to understanding the universe we live in.”

The event will be held in the Dean’s Conference Room, Engineering Building Room 3405. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon will give a short speech at the ceremony, followed by words from Dr. Merz. Tours of the HPCC Machine Room — home of the supercomputer — will be given afterward.

The new supercomputer will double the speed with which campus researchers can complete their experiments, and enable iCER to reach out to additional research groups who may benefit from this new resource. The iCER team worked with technology developers Lenovo, Intel, Nvidia and Mellanox to build the new cluster from the ground up. iCER worked closely with Lenovo technicians to bring the project in on time and on cost.

“Lenovo is proud to partner with Michigan State University as they launch the newest addition to the HPCC,” said Scott Tease, Lenovo’s Executive Director of HyperScale and High-Performance Computing. “The new cluster, based on Lenovo’s NeXtScale technology, it will enable best of breed, high-performance solutions and will provide a wide variety of tools to enable countless scientists, students and researches across the university to advance their work quickly and across many different disciplines. Lenovo congratulates MSU on their rapid deployment of the new cluster and we look forward to many years of continued partnership.”

The cluster, which will given an official name at the ceremony, will also give MSU a special distinction: it will mark the university’s return to the Top500 list, which ranks the world’s top high-performance computing machines.

“With the creation of the CMSE Department last year and with the installation of a Top 500 supercomputer on campus, the computational sciences at MSU have never been stronger,” said Dr. Merz.

About the new supercomputer

The new cluster has 320 nodes equipped with the latest Intel E5-2680 v4 Broadwell chips that run at 2,400 MHz clock speed. Each of these nodes has 28 cores and has access to 128 GB of RAM. The cluster also has 50 GPU-enabled nodes. Each of these nodes has 256 GB of RAM and houses four NVidia K80 GPU accelerator cards. In addition to the existing 2 PB scratch space, users will now have access to 240 GB solid-state disk (SSD) local scratch storage on each of these nodes for fast computation (I/O) during batch jobs. The nodes are connected with InfiniBand, a specialized high-speed (56 Gb/s) network that enables fast communication.

About iCER

The Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research provides a solid cyberinfrastructure that connects researchers from academia and industry with advanced computational systems and tools. iCER supports multidisciplinary research in all facets of computational sciences, and continually works to enhance MSU’s national and international presence and competitive edge in work that requires advanced computing.

About the HPCC

MSU’s High Performance Computing Center supports MSU faculty, students, and researchers in their research. HPCC was designed to target the need for large-memory jobs by creating an ever-growing cyberinfrastructure to facilitate shared memory jobs, calculation-intensive jobs, general purpose graphical processing unit jobs, and parallel processing jobs.

About Lenovo

Lenovo is a $34 billion personal technology company, and the world’s largest PC vendor. Lenovo has more than 33,000 employees serving customers in more than 160 countries. Lenovo also creates a full range of personal technology, including smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.

Source: Michigan State University

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