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Supercomputer installed in a day

Over 100 people converged to assemble Purdue University's latest research supercomputer, Rice - in a single day!

On Friday, 8 May, staff and volunteers built a new cluster of 576 HP compute nodes with two 10-core Intel Xeon-E5 processors (20 cores per node) and 64 GB of memory. The cluster features a Mellanox 56 GB FDR Infiniband interconnect and a Lustre parallel file system built on Data Direct Networks' SFA12KX EXAScaler storage platform.

If Kim Hoogewind's eagerness is any indication, Rice is going to be busy. Before it was completely unboxed, Hoogewind - an atmospheric science doctoral student - was already running extreme weather simulations on it. Supercomputers like Rice are essential for her research, which involves simulating weather across many decades to show how climate change may affect severe weather in the future.

The new supercomputer is named for John R. Rice, the W. Brooks Fortune distinguished professor emeritus of computer science. It is the eighth built by Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) in as many years under Purdue's Community Cluster Program.

Time-lapse video of the Rice installation. Purdue's eighth supercomputer, Rice was assembled in a single day. Video courtesy Purdue University.

-- Greg Kline, science and technology writer and managing editor for Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP) and the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing (RCAC)

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