DOD bulks up supercomputing power

The Defense Department has purchased a new supercomputer to handle large jobs such as designing weapons and running large simulation programs. The Aeronautical Systems Center's Major Shared Resource Center (MSRC), located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, will host the new computer, to be installed in September.

DOD's High Performance Computing Modernization Program Office made the selection, one of a number of purchases it has recently made to enhance its supercomputer portfolio. In April, the department purchased a 2,048-processor SGI Altix System to execute similar tasks. The MSRC is one of four High Performance Computing Major Shared Resource Centers that provide computer resources to the Defense research, development, test and evaluation communities.

For this contract, Hewlett-Packard Co. will install a 1,024-node HP Cluster Platform 4000 system, which is expected to be able to execute 10 trillion floating-point operations per second (10 TFLOPS), according to the Air Force.

The HP supercomputer will be composed of ProLiant DL145 servers running Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices of Sunnyvale, Calif. The system will run the Linux operating system and HP's XC System Software to cluster the nodes. Voltaire Inc. of Billerica, Mass., will supply the InfiniBand interconnects, and HP will provide a 12-node 100 T StorageWorks Scalable File Share storage area network to house the data, according to HP.

'This system will enable us to capitalize on the tremendous advances in price/performance provided by industry-standard technologies, while providing a fully supported, robust production system for our critical workload,' Steve Wourms, director for MSRC, said in a statement.

About the Author

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

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