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NERSC and Cray sign $40 million supercomputer agreement

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The US Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) has signed an agreement valued at more than $40 million for the multi-year, multi-phase procurement of a next-generation Cray supercomputer code-named ‘Cascade’, a next-generation Cray Sonexion storage system and services.

Expected to be widely available in the first half of 2013, Cascade will provide a supercomputing resource to NERSC users working to advance open science research in disciplines such as climate modelling, biology, environmental sciences, chemistry, astrophysics, nuclear and high-energy physics, in addition to scientific visualisation of massive data sets.

The system will provide more than two petaflops of peak performance and will feature what Cray describes as ‘major advancements’ of its Linux Environment, HPC-optimised programming environment and the next-generation Aries interconnect chipset. Cascade will also feature support for Intel Xeon processors – a first for Cray’s high-end systems.

The Cray Sonexion storage system delivered to NERSC will scale to more than six petabytes of usable storage and more than 140 gigabytes per second of sustained aggregate I/O performance.  Sonexion brings together an integrated file system, software and storage offering that has been designed specifically for a wide range of HPC workloads, providing users with an integrated, scalable Lustre solution. The Sonexion storage system combines powerful servers, the latest Lustre parallel file system and efficient management software into a modular and scalable storage product that is tested at scale and supported as a complete solution by Cray.