NCSA 30 | TeraGrid gets bigger
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TeraGrid gets bigger

TeraGrid gets bigger

The National Science Foundation’s $35 million Extensible Terascale Facility (ETF) award expands the TeraGrid to five sites: NCSA; the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego; Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago; the Center for Advanced Computing Research (CACR) at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

This extended TeraGrid environment will provide the national research community with more than 20 teraflops of computing power distributed among the five sites and nearly 1 petabyte (1 quadrillion bytes) of storage capacity.

The award also ensures that the TeraGrid will be extensible and ready for expansion in the future. Additional sites will be able to connect to the TeraGrid, and the national research community will be able to take advantage of its high-performance resources.

“This expansion of the TeraGrid will provide computing power to scientists that is orders of magnitude beyond anything we’ve ever seen before,” said Dan Reed, director of NCSA and chief architect for the TeraGrid project. “In addition, it will provide the best high-resolution visualization environments, more storage capacity than ever before possible, and access to grid computing toolkits and grid-enabled applications. The impact on scientific discovery will be significant. At this point, we can’t even begin to imagine the discoveries that the TeraGrid will make possible.”

Each of the five sites play a specific role in the TeraGrid project:

  • NCSA will be a lead computing site providing more than 10 teraflops of computing power in Linux clusters equipped with Intel’s second and third generation 64-bit Itanium chips. NCSA will also offer 230 terabytes of SAN-based storage.
  • SDSC will serve as the lead data and data services site, providing 500 terabytes of SAN disk storage augmented by two 32-processor IBM Power4 DB2 servers joining the existing 72-processor Sun Fire 15K server. The site also will deploy a 4-teraflop Linux cluster based on Intel’s 64-bit Itanium processor and a 1.1-teraflop Power4 computing system.
  • PSC will be a lead computing site providing a 6-teraflop TCS-1 system and a 0.3-teraflop HP Marvel system, creating a powerful shared memory computing capability with 512 gigabytes of memory as well as adding a 150-terabyte disk cache.
  • Argonne will serve as the TeraGrid’s remote rendering and visualization site. Its 180-node visualization cluster will be the largest such cluster for open scientific research.
  • CACR will deploy a data collection and analysis environment centered around a Sun Microsystem’s data server. The system will be a prototype of a mid-size, application-driven TeraGrid site.