ITaP research computers to be down two weekends in August for building upgrade

August 6, 2011  5:00pm – August 17, 2011  5:00pm

ITaP’s research computing systems will be shut down at least part of August 6-7 and August 13-14 because of an ongoing power upgrade project at the Mathematical Sciences Building.

Some of the research computing systems also might be down or have to run in limited production mode Aug. 8-12, between the outages. Details are still in the planning stages.

The upgrade project will install two new electrical transformers to handle the additional power and cooling demands of new supercomputers, as well as provide redundant power to the datacenter to help avoid unscheduled outages. An unscheduled loss of power to the facility can mean millions of hours of lost computing time.

The project is funded by a $2 million National Science Foundation grant to upgrade and improve Purdue’s main research datacenter, located in the basement of the Mathematical Sciences Building.

“This project will allow us to support up to three additional research clusters,” says John Campbell, ITaP associate vice president for academic technologies.

Purdue's on-campus supercomputer use increased from 628,000 hours in 2000 to 127 million hours in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. With the addition of the Rossmann cluster in fall 2010, ITaP expects to deliver more than 200 million supercomputing hours to Purdue faculty and their students in 2010-2011. Purdue has built three internationally ranked supercomputers in as many years. The University’s research computing resources now rank in the top five nationally among U.S. academic institutions.

Under Purdue’s Community Cluster Program, ITaP and faculty researchers partner to fund and determine the features for each new supercomputing cluster. ITaP is currently planning the next community cluster, to be built in September. Those wanting more information or wishing to participate can email:

Originally posted: May 12, 2011