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Buffalo Cluster's a Grid Cornerstone

The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo has installed a major cluster of Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) servers, which will form the cornerstone of an extensive research grid covering all of New York State (see University at Buffalo Adds Dell Cluster).

Researchers in Buffalo have added a total of 834 Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) Pentium processor-based Dell servers to the Universitys Center for Computational Research (CCR). This brings the Center’s total processor capacity to 7,000, encompassing a mixture of hardware from the likes of Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) and Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) (NYSE: SGI).

Russ Miller, the Center’s director, expects the new cluster to have a peak performance of more than 10 Teraflops, or trillions of calculations per second. This would place the cluster at 40th place, just behind the 10.2 Teraflop U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) cluster, based on the most recent list of the world’s top supercomputers (see Top Supercomputers Revealed and Invasion of the Coneheads). By adding the new Dell servers, Buffalo has also boosted the overall peak performance of its research center from around 12 to 22 Teraflops.

In addition to the Dell servers, the new cluster also contains 30 Terabytes of storage from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and uses a combination of Gigabit Ethernet and Myrinet for its network infrastructure.

The University currently runs around 140 different research projects at its Center for Computational Research. These include research into computational chemistry, life-sciences, engineering, and scientific visualization. Although the Dell cluster was only delivered in April, Buffalo has already used the servers to animate eight videos for MTV, he says.

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