The NASA Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) is part of the Computational and Information Sciences and Technology Office (CISTO) of the Exploration Directorate at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. This division is dedicated to providing scientists and engineers with the supercomputing resources and simulation tools needed to carry out NASA missions and make scientific discoveries. A Custom Supersystem from Linux Networx has been ordered for the NCCS to upgrade the computing systems at GSFC. The system will be comprised of an initial base unit and a series of scalable computer units. The base unit will be 128 nodes with two dual-core CPUs in each node for a total of 512 processors and 3.3 teraflops of peak processing. Assuming a successful integration and test period, a scalable computer unit with an additional 256 nodes will be installed at a later date.
The cluster environment will provide a much-needed technology upgrade to the NCCS high-performance computing environment, and provide a platform on which to grow capacity computing. The driving factor behind the resulting cluster environment was to provide additional capability to the user community while minimizing the effort involved in using the new system. The environment has been architected to closely match the current NCCS and NASA computer environments in order to minimize the learning curve associated with new systems.
Applications at GSFC include the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, which researches global forecast models; the Goddard Institute for Space Sciences, which focuses on 3D Earth climate simulation; and general research and analysis for exploring the universe.
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