DOD to use Linux clusters for combat simulations

The Defense Department has procured a pair of 256-processor Linux clusters to use in simulating global combat operations.

The Air Force's Maui High Performance Computing Center in Hawaii and the Aeronautical Systems Center Major Shared Resource Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force in Ohio will each house a cluster.

The system will provide a level of performance and detail that hasn't been offered in previous clusters, said Maj. Kevin Benedict, program manager for the Maui High Performance Computing Center. Both purchases are covered by DOD's Technology Insertion 2004 initiative, part of the High Performance Computing Modernization Program, an effort to update the military's high performance computers.

The Joint Forces Command will use the computers for large-scale, high-resolution simulations of combat situations, such as thousands of combat troops moving among millions of civilian vehicles.

Both clusters will be built using Evolocity cluster software from Linux Networx Inc. of Salt Lake City. DataDirect Networks Inc. of Chatsworth, Calif., will supply the 10T worth of storage appliances for each cluster. The systems will also use Linux Networx' Clusterworx cluster management software and Icebox power and temperature management software. Both systems will run 3.06-GHz Intel Xeon processors and Red Hat Enterprise Linux from Red Hat Inc. of Raleigh, N.C.

The cluster in Maui has been operational since early July and has a theoretical peak capacity of 1.5 TFLOPS, according to David Morton, technical director for the Maui High Performance Computing Center.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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