New Halstead research supercomputing cluster ready for use by Purdue faculty

November 30, 2016

ITaP has built Purdue’s ninth research supercomputing system in as many years through the Community Cluster program, which gives Purdue researchers the best collection of high-performance computing resources for use on a single campus in the country.

The new supercomputer, named Halstead, will have the same processors as the Rice supercomputing cluster built in 2015, but will be better on all other specifications, including memory per node, network bandwidth and cost to researchers, says Preston Smith, ITaP’s director of research services and support.

Like Rice, Halstead will work well for most kinds of science and engineering research. Its scratch storage space is better optimized for smaller files, so users should find going back and forth between numerous small files more efficient. The new cluster features two 10-core Intel Xeon CPUs per node, 128 GB of RAM and Mellanox EDR 100 Gb/s Infiniband interconnects.

Halstead is expected to be ready for use in December. Purdue researchers can already buy capacity in it through ITaP Research Computing’s cluster orders website.

Purdue has a tradition of naming its research supercomputers after notable people in computing history at the University and Halstead is no exception. It is named in honor of Maurice Halstead, one of the earliest members of Purdue’s computer science department, and a pioneer in the field of software science.

Besides the new Halstead cluster, the MATH data center now houses the University’s main central data center, formerly located in Freehafer Hall. To free up additional space, Rice was moved to a modular computer center at a secured location near the Purdue power plant. These containerized data centers are portable, self-contained and provide energy and cost savings, since they take advantage of Indiana’s cold winters for natural cooling.

In addition, the MATH data center has been renovated with new floors to support more powerful, larger and denser high-performance computing systems in the future.

To learn more about the Halstead cluster, contact Preston Smith, psmith@purdue.edu or 49-49729.

Originally posted: November 30, 2016  10:39am