Campus IT staff to supercomputers: Be cool

Purdue's supercomputer is among the most powerful commercial machines in the world.
Purdue's supercomputer is among the most powerful commercial machines in the world.

In Mike Shuey’s line of work, turning off a computer means losing up to 3 million processing hours—a few weeks of work, gone in an instant.

Until Shuey and his team of supercomputing experts at Purdue University found a way to cool down the massive machines when they overheated during the blazing summer months, there were only two options: “You turn on a few fans and hope for the best, or you turn off [the supercomputers] and wait until the temperature stabilizes,” he said.

Shutting down the machines would save the university’s expensive computers—but it could cost researchers weeks or months of work.…Read More

Researchers vie for supercomputer access

TeraGrid resources include more than a petaflop of computing capability.
TeraGrid resources include more than a petaflop of computing capability.

Officials who run the most comprehensive cyber-infrastructure dedicated to scientific research are accepting proposals for the next cycle of projects headed by academics who require massive computing power to predict earthquakes, detect tumors, and better understand a myriad of technological issues.

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) TeraGrid program allocates more than 1 billion processor hours to researchers every year, and program officials are accepting the latest round of submissions until Jan. 15.

Last month, the committee that decides how TeraGrid’s resources will be distributed among applicants doled out about 200 million processor hours and nearly 1 petabyte of data storage to 100 research teams worldwide. A petabyte is a unit of computer storage equal to 1 quadrillion bytes, or 1,000 terabytes. A terabyte is equal to 1,000 gigabytes.…Read More

Researchers vie for supercomputer access

TeraGrid resources include more than a petaflop of computing capability.
TeraGrid resources include more than a petaflop of computing capability.

Officials who run the most comprehensive cyber-infrastructure dedicated to scientific research are accepting proposals for the next cycle of projects headed by academics who require massive computing power to predict earthquakes, detect tumors, and better understand a myriad of technological issues.

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) TeraGrid program allocates more than 1 billion processor hours to researchers every year, and program officials are accepting the latest round of submissions until Jan. 15.

Last month, the committee that decides how TeraGrid’s resources will be distributed among applicants doled out about 200 million processor hours and nearly 1 petabyte of data storage to 100 research teams worldwide. A petabyte is a unit of computer storage equal to 1 quadrillion bytes, or 1,000 terabytes. A terabyte is equal to 1,000 gigabytes.…Read More