New Purdue cluster was working on the TeraGrid before it was even finished

August 3, 2009

Purdue University’s new high-performance computing cluster, named Coates, was available on the TeraGrid even before staff and volunteers finished building it July 21. The nodes in the new cluster, made up of more than 700 HP dual quad-core computers with AMD processors, joined Purdue’s Condor pool almost as soon as they were racked and connected, part of an automated configuration process. Purdue makes the Condor pool available as a TeraGrid high-throughput computing resource. It has been used for everything from imaging the structure of viruses at an atomic level to simulating the formation of the Solar System.

Coates is a “community cluster” paid for by a cooperative of Purdue faculty members and campus departments and operated by Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), Purdue’s central information technology organization. Investors in the cluster always have access to the nodes they purchase and potentially more when others’ nodes are idle. That still leaves idle time, however, which is made available through the Condor pool to local users, the TeraGrid and the Open Science Grid. In this way, Purdue has been able to keep its Steele cluster built in May 2008 working more than 90 percent of the time.

The addition of Coates brings the number of processors in the Condor pool to approximately 27,000. Coates is expected to reach its 1,280-node capacity in the fall of 2009, which will bring the Condor pool to nearly 33,000 cores. Coates should rank in the top 50 on the November 2009 Top 500 Supercomputer Sites list. It is the first internationally ranked academic supercomputer to be solely wired with 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Purdue’s Condor pool is at the center of DiaGrid, a multi-campus Condor pool with Indiana University, Indiana State University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Louisville, the University of Wisconsin, Purdue’s Calumet and North Central campuses, and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Purdue is seeking other partners with a goal of growing DiaGrid to 100,000 processors.

More information:

Writer: Greg Kline, science and technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-494-8167,

Source: Carol Song, 765-496-7467,

Originally posted: August 3, 2009