Purdue supercomputer unboxed and built by lunch

The supercomputer is made up of 812 Dell servers and is capable of performing 60 trillion operations per second. The supercomputer ranks in the top 40 of the world's most powerful supercomputers, and is the largest supercomputer on a Big Ten campus that is not a part of a national center. Read more and view a time lapse-video.

05/08/2008


Staff members at Purdue wanted to build the Big Ten’s largest campus supercomputer is just a day on Monday, May 5. But it didn’t take that long—they were done by lunch.

"The assembly was finished much faster than we expected, and by noon we were doing science," said Gerry McCartney, vice president for information technology and chief information officer. "The staff was enthusiastic, the weather was great, and there were no problems installing the hardware or software. There is no cloud to accompany this silver lining."

The first shift of workers was scheduled to begin unpacking boxes at 7 a.m., but many employees arrived at 6 a.m., eager to begin working. By 11 a.m. the supercomputer was essentially complete, except for a few nodes that were intentionally held back to be installed at the noon dedication.

By 1 p.m. more than 500 of the 812 nodes that make up the supercomputer were already running 1,400 research jobs from across campus.

 

The supercomputer, which is named "Steele" for John Steele, a former staff and faculty member, is >made up of 812 Dell servers and is capable of performing 60 trillion operations per second. The supercomputer would rank in the top 40 of the current ranking of the world's most powerful supercomputers, and is the largest supercomputer on a Big Ten campus that is not a part of a nationalcenter.

A time-lapse video of the supercomputer construction is available here .

Read more about the supercomputer here .





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