Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What the HECC?

NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division NAS

"NASA's High-End Computing Capabilities (HECC) Project provides world-class computing, storage, and visualization resources to users across the nation to accelerate the development of innovative technologies, ensure new scientific discoveries, develop complex engineering systems, and reduce risks in support of NASA missions."

Pleiades Supercomputer (SGI)
"Pleiades, which ranks 11th on the TOP500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers, represents NASA's state-of-the-art technology for meeting the agency's supercomputing requirements, enabling NASA scientists and engineers to conduct modeling and simulation for NASA missions. This distributed-memory SGI ICE cluster is connected with InfiniBand ® in a dual-plane hypercube technology."

"The system contains the following types of Intel® Xeon® processors: E5-2670 (Sandy Bridge), X5670 (Westmere), X5570 (Nehalem), and E5472 (Harpertown). Pleiades is named after the astronomical open star cluster of the same name."

Columbia Supercomputer (SGI)
"The Columbia supercomputer has made it possible for NASA to achieve breakthroughs in science and engineering for all of the agency's mission areas, particularly in space exploration. When the original system was installed in 2004, it was ranked second on the list of the top most powerful supercomputers in the world at 63 teraflop/s."

"As the Pleiades supercomputer expands, Columbia is gradually being phased out, to be replaced with next-generation technology."

Archival Storage System (SGI)
"The NAS high-end computing environment includes a 115-petabyte tape storage system that allows science and engineering users to archive and retrieve important results quickly, reliably, and securely. Data stored on RAID is migrated to tapes as needed. Copies of users' data are written to two separate tape media in silos located in two different buildings. SGI's Data Migration Facility (DMF) and Tape Management Facility (TMF) manage data migration (disk-to-tape) and de-migration (tape-to-disk), respectively."
Archival Storage System

Networking Resources (Cisco)
"Our local-area network (LAN) supports high-speed connections and data transfers for all HECC supercomputing systems, visualization systems, and other resources. The LAN is composed almost entirely of Cisco Systems® equipment and has a 10 gigabit (GigE) Ethernet backbone supporting both 1 G and 10 G hosts."

"Nearly 10 miles of fiber and 10 miles of copper cabling are currently in use for Ethernet and fiber channel networks, and up to 20 miles of each could be supported by the infrastructure."

Visualization System: hyperwall-2 (Colfax International) 
"Our in-house developed hyperwall-2 visualization system—one of the largest and most powerful in the world—provides a supercomputer-scale environment to visualize and explore the very large, high-dimensional datasets produced by NASA supercomputers and instruments."

"The hyperwall-2 helps researchers display, analyze, and study high-dimensional datasets in meaningful ways, allowing the use of different tools, viewpoints, and parameters to display the same data or datasets."

"128-screen tiled LCD wall arranged in 8x16 configuration; measures 23-ft. wide by 10-ft. high." (7 x 3 meters).

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