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Research Computing executive director presents to federal agencies

  • Science Highlights

Preston Smith, executive director of Research Computing, spoke last week at the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program’s working group on high-end computing about the campus perspective on the health of the HPC vendor ecosystem.

NITRD is the nation’s primary source of federally funded R&D in advanced information technologies. The 23 NITRD member agencies, including the National Science Foundation, invest approximately $6.5 billion annually in advanced networking and IT capabilities.

Smith gave the agency representatives an overview of Purdue’s Community Cluster program, which delivered 378 million computational hours to more than 200 principal investigators last year, and explained how the Community Cluster Program’s widely emulated “condo” computing model allows researchers to affordably access powerful computational resources through economies of scale, while Research Computing maintains the clusters and provides expert staff support.

He outlined to the working group how Purdue evaluates and chooses vendors for processors, filesystems, archival storage, workload managers, interconnects, accelerators and cooling solutions.

“Our success in the community cluster program has been made possible by competitive markets in processors, networks, and accelerators, allowing us to provide high performance computing at the highest proven value,” said Smith. “I hope that this remains a viable option in the face of increasing consolidation in the HPC vendor space.”

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