Overview of Coates

Coates is a compute cluster operated by ITaP and is a member of Purdue's Community Cluster Program. ITaP installed Coates on July 21, 2009. At installation, it was the largest entirely 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GigE) academic cluster in the world. Coates consists of 982 64-bit, 8-core Hewlett-Packard Proliant and 11 64-bit, 16-core Hewlett-Packard Proliant DL585 G5 systems with between 16 GB and 128 GB of memory. All nodes have 10 Gigabit Ethernet interconnects and a 5-year warranty. Coates is planned to be decommissioned on September 30, 2014.

Coates Installation Day Video
Preview of Coates Installation Day


Coates is named in honor of Ben Coates, former head of Electrical Engineering and founder of both the Computer Engineering degree program and the Engineering Computer Network (ECN) at Purdue. More information about his life and impact on Purdue is available in an ITaP Biography of Ben Coates.

Detailed Hardware Specification

Coates consists of five logical sub-clusters, each with a different memory/storage configuration as described in the following table. All nodes in the cluster feature 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GigE).

Sub-Cluster Number of Nodes Processors per Node Cores per Node Memory per Node Interconnect Disk
Coates-A 640 Two 2.5 GHz Quad-Core AMD 2380 8 32 GB 10 GigE 500 GB
Coates-B 45 Two 2.5 GHz Quad-Core AMD 2380 8 32 GB 10 GigE 2 TB
Coates-C 264 Two 2.5 GHz Quad-Core AMD 2380 8 16 GB 10 GigE 500 GB
Coates-D 33 Two 2.5 GHz Quad-Core AMD 2380 8 16 GB 10 GigE 2 TB
Coates-E 11 Four 2.5 GHz Quad-Core AMD 8380 16 128 GB 10 GigE 2 TB

Coates nodes run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL5) and use Moab Workload Manager 7 and TORQUE Resource Manager 4 as the portable batch system (PBS) for resource and job management. Coates also runs jobs for BoilerGrid whenever processor cores in it would otherwise be idle. The application of operating system patches occurs as security needs dictate. All nodes allow for unlimited stack usage, as well as unlimited core dump size (though disk space and server quotas may still be a limiting factor).

For more information about the TORQUE Resource Manager:

On Coates, ITaP recommends the following set of compiler, math library, and message-passing library for parallel code:

  • PGI 11.8-0
  • ACML
  • OpenMPI 1.6.3

To load the recommended set:

$ module load devel

To verify what you loaded:

$ module list
About Ben Coates