ComputerWorld: Purchase will more than double MSRC's computing capability
A U.S. Army supercomputing center with a legacy that dates to the first large computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) launched in 1946, is moving to Linux-based clusters in a major hardware purchase that will more than double its computing capability.
The Army Research Laboratory Major Shared Resource Center (MSRC)is buying four Linux Networx Inc. Advanced Technology Clusters, including a system with 4,488 processing cores, or 1,122 nodes, with each node made up of two dual-core Intel Xeon chips. A second system has 842 nodes.
In total, this purchase will increase its computing capability from 36 trillion floating-point operations per second (TFLOPS) to more than 80 TFLOPS, Army officials said.
The MSRC, which is based at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County, Md., has been involved in every aspect of computing technology since its beginning, and this decision to move into commodity clusters was not made quickly, said Charles J. Nietubicz, director of the MSRC.
The lab held a symposium in 2003 to explore the issue and began running a small, 256-processor cluster system. "We saw that cluster computing was this new kid on the block and was interesting," said Nietubicz, but the center wasn't about to start scrapping its other systems made by Silicon Graphics Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM, he said.