Florida State University : Research in Review

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Cluster Power
Cluster Power

This fall, Florida State's capabilities in advanced computing got a boost with the installation of this integrated bank of Dell computers, housed at the university's http://hpc.fsu.edu/ High Performance Computing Center at Innovation Park. The new system, valued at $2 million, ties together 128 Dell four-processor servers (a total of 512 processors), with a combined memory capacity of 78 terabytes (trillion bytes) of information. The machine's peak computing speed tested at 2.3 teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second). Clustered computer systems such as this are gaining popularity at research universities where high-speed computing is essential for staying competitive in fields ranging from physics to pharmacology. What makes the systems so attractive are their lower operating costs and remarkable performance compared to all-in-one, so-called "big-iron" supercomputers, machines that debuted in the early 1980s. Florida State's contract with Dell Systems calls for an annual upgrade of fully one-third of the cluster's processors, guaranteeing scientists a research tool that stays current with technology. For more details on FSU high-performance computing, visit www.hpc.fsu.edu. —F.S.