University of Miami Deploys $3.7M IBM Power System for AI, HPC

August 13, 2019

CORAL GABLES, Fla., August 13, 2019 – What if massive data sets could be accessed and analyzed in just an hour, instead of a day?

It could change the field of genomics, help researchers predict impacts of climate change more expediently, and help understand the origins of the universe.

Image courtesy of the University of Miami

Today, the University of Miami (UM) announced that their new supercomputer, Triton, is installed and helping their researchers and analysts explore these possibilities. The new high-performance system uses the same AI-optimized architecture as the most powerful supercomputers in the world, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Summit and Sierra supercomputers. The $3.7 million system was assembled and validated distally by IBM and the University’s Center for Computational Science (CCS) personnel. CCS personnel along with UM investigators have been installing and testing software since its arrival to UM’s downtown facility last month.

“With advances in artificial intelligence and science, we wanted to advance our research with this new generation of supercomputer and enable more discoveries,” said Nicholas Tsinoremas, director of the University of Miami Center for Computational Science and vice provost for data and research computing. “Advances in data science and big data drove us to this new technology.”

UM’s first supercomputer—Pegasus I—was unveiled in 2008. Then, in 2013 it was updated to add more processing and storage capacity and renamed Pegasus II. The new supercomputer will be UM’s first GPU-accelerated HPC system, representing a completely new approach to computational and data science for the university’s campuses. Built using IBM Power Systems AC922 servers, the new HPC system was designed to maximize data movement between the IBM POWER9 CPU and attached accelerators like GPUs.

“Modern computational science requires a system that can handle the demands of Big Data, classic modeling and simulation, as well as the analytical techniques of artificial intelligence,” said David Turek, Vice President of Exascale Systems for IBM Cognitive Systems. “From the purpose-built hardware to the integrated machine learning and deep learning software stack, the IBM technology in Triton represents a new chapter in the way researchers approach data and computation.”

“Some thought cloud-based computing would eliminate the need for supercomputers. However, many research projects with massive multi-dimensional datasets run much faster on these specially designed high-performance supercomputers like Triton,” said Ernie Fernandez, the University’s vice president for information technology and chief information officer.  “Providing a hybrid environment at the University of Miami which offers both cloud options and a dedicated supercomputer is the best way to equip students and faculty to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.”

The new supercomputer is designed to process data more efficiently, and students will be able to access the supercomputer from their laptops, log in and start processing data independently. Currently, about 1,500 people on UM’s three campuses utilize the supercomputer.

About the University of Miami

The mission of the University of Miami is to transform lives through education, research, innovation, and service. Committed to freedom of inquiry, excellence, and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to transform the world in positive ways through innovative education, impactful research and scholarship, and the translation of knowledge into solutions.


Source: The University of Miami

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