Cray Wins 4 of 5 DoD HPCMP Systems

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Cray has announced that it has been awarded contracts to provide four out of five possible systems in support for the 2008 Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program technology resfreshment cycle [DoD HPCMP TI-08…. welcome to acronym hell]. The $30 million contract is one of the largest ever DoD HPCMP system awards to a single vendor. The contract outlines the delivery of four Cray XT5 systems with subsequent support to DoD research centers including the Army Research Lab [ARL], Naval Oceanographic Office [NAVO] and the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center [ARSC].

It’s an incredible honor to play such a significant role in helping to ensure the continued strength of the military’s research and development efforts,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. “The DOD’s HPCMP is one of the longest-standing supercomputing programs in existence, having enabled major materials innovations, higher fidelity computer simulations, more efficient testing and the development of critical weapons systems. We value the opportunity to provide our systems in this capacity and look forward to continuing our partnership with the HPCMP into the future. The scalability, innovation and upgradeability that are uniquely characteristic of the Cray XT5 supercomputers will enable the DOD to continue to achieve the engineering and scientific breakthroughs that will strengthen our national security.”

For those not intimately involved with the DoD HPCMP pedigree, this has some interesting implications for Cray. The three research centers involved with the deal were not recently Cray customers. ARL most recently purchased three clusters from LNXI, NAVO was historically an IBM shop and ARSC has a cluster built by Sun [also formerly an IBM shop]. As such, this win probably makes Peter Ungaro grin even more.

Read the full post here.

[Ed.: Ed Kornkven from ARSC wrote in to clarify a bit about his center: “What was reported is true — we do have a Sun cluster and will be replacing our IBM system with the XT5.  However,  we have a long history with Cray starting with our first supercomputer, a Cray Y-MP (which went into production in 1993), followed by T3D (1994), T3E (1997), J932 (1998), SV1 (2000), SV1e (2001), SV1ex (2001), SX-6 (2002), X1 (2003), and our XD1 which was installed in 2005 and just removed from production at the end of 2007.  We have had several IBM systems also, going back to 2001, but I wouldn’t call us an ‘IBM shop.”

 Thanks, Ed!] 


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  1. CNN Money puts the contract at $300 Million not $30 Million. Not sure which is the correct number, but $30 million will only buy you one good sized supercomputer today.

  2. Just checked the inside Cray page and it has the same announcement with the $30 million number. I just think that’s odd, I’m betting it’s a decimal slip. Bet there’s a correction sometime later.

    Quote “The contract, worth over $30 million including services, is one of the largest ever DOD HPCMP system awards to a single vendor.” Endquote

    I’ve worked on several HPCMP systems personally that were more than that by themselves. Let alone for a whole contract series.

  3. We’ll change it to 300 million… indeed, 30 million for 4 cray systems and support is a bit lean.

  4. Confirmed, the award is of $30 million.

  5. It is certainly not $300M. $30M is closer to the right number, speaking as someone not involved in this particular acquisition but who has been involved in many acquisitions in this same program over the past 7 years.

    Rich, the quote you have in your comment is right if you parse it carefully. It says “one of the largest ever DoD HPCMP system awards to a single vendor.” Lots of qualifiers in there; the catch is “DOD HPCMP”…

  6. I wonder if Rich works for another vendor, perhaps one with the initials IBM?

    It seems $30 mill goes farther today buying XT systems than it did several years ago.

  7. Behind the times Skinman! I’m with Cray now. I’m no longer an IBM’r, I’ve left the dark Blue side of the force. In fact I’ve even bailed out on the country and I’m now overseas in the UK working for Cray.

    Hope things are well at NAVO.