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NCAR Awards 42 Million Core Hours on Yellowstone Supercomputer

chNine science projects were recently chosen to receive computational time and storage space on the Yellowstone supercomputer in Cheyenne.

The Wyoming-NCAR Allocations Panel evaluated a record-high nine requests,” says Bryan Shader, UW’s special assistant to the vice president for research and economic development, and professor of mathematics. “The projects were granted allocations totaling 42.6 million core hours of computing time on Yellowstone and will enable some incredible science on issues of importance to Wyoming, the U.S. and the world. Given that Wyoming’s share of the NWSC is 75 million core hours, these allocations and the more than 40 million (core hours) allocated in February show more than full utilization of the resource.”

The most recent recommended allocations total 42.6 million core hours, 270 terabytes of archival storage, and 47,000 hours on data analysis and visualization systems, Shader says. To provide some perspective on what these numbers mean, here are some useful comparisons. In simplest terms, Yellowstone can be thought of as 72,576 personal computers that are cleverly interconnected to perform as one computer. The computational time allocated is equivalent to the use of the entire supercomputer for 24.5 days­, 24 hours a day. The 270 terabytes of storage would be enough to store the entire printed collection of the U.S. Library of Congress more than 20 times.

Yellowstone consists of about 70,000 processors, also known as cores. An allocation of one core hour allows a project to run one of these processors for one hour, or 1,000 of these for 1/1,000th of an hour.

The successor to the Yellowstone cluster, to be called Cheyenne, is scheduled to come online in early 2017. It is anticipated that Yellowstone will be retired in late 2017. In fall 2017, Wyoming researchers will have an opportunity to apply for early opportunities to use Cheyenne for ambitious projects that utilize Cheyenne’s increased capabilities.

In late 2016, Wyoming researchers will be able to apply for regular allocations on Cheyenne. Wyoming’s share of Cheyenne will be around 160 million core hours per year. The new high-performance computer will be a 5.34-petaflop system, meaning it can carry out 5.34 quadrillion calculations per second. It will be capable of more than 2.5 times the amount of scientific computing performed by Yellowstone.

Twenty-five UW-led projects used Yellowstone (the nickname for the supercomputer) in 2015, and this places Wyoming as the top university in total allocations, users and usage among the more than 150 universities that use the NWSC.

University of Wyoming faculty members and, in one case, a graduate student, will head projects that will use the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC). Each project was critically reviewed by an external panel of experts and evaluated on the experimental design, computational effectiveness, efficiency of resource use, and broader impacts such as how the project involves both UW and NCAR researchers; strengthens UW’s research capacity; enhances UW’s computational programs; or involves research in a new or emerging field.

Since the supercomputer came on line during October 2012, allocations have been made to 65 UW research projects, including these latest nine, which commence July 1.

Source: NW News

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