NASA Ames Research Center deploys SGI system

NASA’s Ames Research Center has selected an SGI UV 2000 shared-memory system to support more than 1,000 active users around the US who are doing research for earth, space and aeronautics missions. Named in honour of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, the system replaced the Columbia supercomputer when it was installed at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at Ames, Moffett Field, California, earlier this year.

Occupying just 10 per cent of the previous Columbia system’s floor space, Endeavour is based on the latest Intel Xeon processor E5-4600 product family, and will enable solutions for many NASA science and engineering applications, including simulation and modelling of global ocean circulation, galaxy and planet formation, and aerodynamic design for air and space vehicles.

‘A portion of our current code base requires either large memory within a node or utilises Open MP as the communication software between tens to hundreds of processors,’ said William Thigpen, high-end computing project manager at the NASA facility. ‘The largest portion of Endeavour is able to meet the large shared memory requirement with four terabytes of addressable memory and can apply over 1,000 cores against an Open MP application.’

The new Endeavour system includes a total of 1536 cores and 6TB of global shared memory. NASA Ames has an existing community of users who could not easily transition to MPI programming models, and the previous system needed to be replaced by a new platform to support this community. Today, user productivity has improved, and the machines are busy.

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