NASA Supercomputer World’s Largest Single x86 System, Achieves Petaflop Scale
SGI announced that NASA’s Pleiades supercomputer system, built with SGI Altix ICE technology, has achieved more than one petaflop/second in sustained compute performance based on the LINPACK performance benchmark, and has now moved into the #7 spot on the June 2011 Top500 list of supercomputer sites in the world. The Pleiades system is run by the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division at Ames Research Center, and represents NASA’s state-of-the-art technology for meeting the agency’s supercomputing requirements, enabling scientists and engineers across the nation to conduct modeling and simulation for NASA missions.
NASA’s Pleiades system contains 182 SGI Altix ICE compute racks, consisting of 111,104 cores of Intel Xeon processors. The system now contains 185.3 TB of total shared memory, two SGI InfiniteStorage 15000 RAID arrays, and 5.1 petabytes of storage. This new configuration is built on the largest InfiniBand cluster in the world, containing a partial dual-plane 11D hypercube InfiniBand network topology plus seven Lustre file systems.
Named after the astronomical open star cluster, NASA’s Pleiades system now consists of three generations of SGI Altix ICE, three generations of Intel Xeon processor series, and two generations of InfiniBand, all managed as a single system, demonstrating the power and flexibility of Altix ICE to span multiple generations. “We congratulate NASA on this profound achievement,” said SGI CEO Mark J. Barrenechea. “The Pleiades system demonstrates that the standards-based technologies in Altix ICE have the potential to scale to the levels of the largest supercomputers in the world, thus setting the stage for the exascale computers of the future.”
“The close partnership of NASA, Intel and SGI over the years has resulted in the world-class capability available today on the Pleiades system,” said Rupak Biswas, chief of the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. “We look forward to even more exciting discoveries as we extend NASA’s high-end computing capabilities in the future.”
“NASA’s Pleiades system highlights both the scalability of Intel Xeon series processors and the growth of our relationship with NASA and SGI,” said Raj Hazra, general manager of High Performance Computing at Intel. “Being based on a standard x86 programming environment means that a wide range of users can benefit without the need for porting their code, and we look forward to the exciting discoveries that this new Altix ICE system configuration that NASA has developed will bring to the world.”