Data centers

01:20 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Sandia Blasts Off Blade Cluster

Sandia Labs' Combustion Research Facility (CRF) is the latest site to join the cluster rush

The Combustion Research Facility (CRF) at the U.S. Department of Energys Sandia National Labs has replaced a supercomputer in favor of a powerful Linux-based cluster of blade servers for key energy research.

CRF joins the growing ranks of academic and government customers eschewing expensive monolithic systems to build high-powered clusters from standard pieces of hardware (see Luebeck Looks to Clusters and Statoil Builds Dell Cluster).

“It’s fairly well known that commodity computing is the cheapest hardware that you can get,” says Joe Oefelein, senior member of technical staff at the facility. “Our budgets are limited and what this does is maximize what we can get for a fixed dollar amount.”

The CRF, which studies energy conversion for the likes of power plants and industrial furnaces, started building the cluster last August, when it installed 72 blades from Penguin Computing Inc. Each blade contains two Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) Opteron processors and runs the Linux operating system.

As well as supporting day-to-day research, the cluster is used to "stage" complex one-off projects before they are deployed on larger DoE supercomputers. These include sophisticated modeling of flame extinction and reignition, says Oefelein. “What we need is the in-house capability to do the day-to-day science, but also stage up to the more ‘grand challenge’ type of calculations."

Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Hot Topics
7
10 Handy WiFi Troubleshooting Tools
Ericka Chickowski, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading,  7/22/2014
6
Guide: The Open Compute Project and Your Data Center
James M. Connolly, Editor in Chief, The Enterprise Cloud Site,  7/21/2014
4
Where Is Your Cloud?
Andrew Froehlich, President & Lead Network Architect, West Gate Networks,  7/23/2014
White Papers
Register for Network Computing Newsletters
Cartoon
Current Issue
2014 Private Cloud Survey
2014 Private Cloud Survey
Respondents are on a roll: 53% brought their private clouds from concept to production in less than one year, and 60% ­extend their clouds across multiple datacenters. But expertise is scarce, with 51% saying acquiring skilled employees is a roadblock.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed