Technology - Written by on December 21, 2011

Oak Ridge Computing Facility Donates Eugene System to Argonne

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IBM Blue Gene/P system sent to sister lab to supplement existing configuration

Eugene was decommissioned on December 13, to be shipped to the ALCF.

The OLCF cleared some room for next-generation machines on Tuesday, December 13, and simultaneously helped a partner.

The centers IBM Blue Gene/P system dubbed Eugene computed at a maximum of 27 trillion calculations per second from 2008 to 2011. The system was decommissioned in October. Once the decommissioning schedule for Eugene was set, Jim Rogers, director of operations for the NCCS, approached his counterparts at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) about whether they could reuse or redeploy some portion of that hardware. Argonne identified a possible use for the OLCF hardware that will allow that center to move a development partition from the main IBM Blue Gene/P Intrepid resource to a separate partition. Remaining equipment will also be redeployed in Argonnes onsite spare hardware inventory, reducing maintenance and operating cost to the US Department of Energy program.

I was delighted that there was a productive use for this equipment, said Rogers. We always consider methods for extending the useful lives of these systems. Eugene, one of the early supercomputers at the OLCF, delivered roughly 45 million processor hours per year for OLCF researchers and collaborators. It had 2,048 quad code PowerPC processors and 64 input/output (I/O) nodes. The OLCF primarily uses Cray machines for their supercomputers, while the ALCF uses IBM architectures for its premier supercomputers, including Intrepid, a Blue Gene/P model capable of 557 trillion calculations per second. The ALCFs next-generation machine will be a Blue Gene/Q named Mira.

The OLCFs Cray XT4 component of Jaguar was recently decommissioned as well. The OLCF is actively working toward the deployment of systems capable of tens of petaflops and then hundreds of petaflops. Despite its incredible run, beginning as a 25 teraflop XT3, the XT4 had reached its operational end of life, Rogers said. — by Erick Gedenk