News Archive

A Big Texas "Howdy" to Lonestar!

Published 08/01/2003

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin, a resource partner within the NPACI Grid, has begun installation of a terascale high-performance computing cluster. The cluster, to be named Lonestar, will help advance innovative research in computational science, engineering, and technology.

Lonestar has 300 Dell PowerEdge servers, each with two 3.06 GHz Intel Xeon processors, linked to one another by a Myrinet 2000 network switch. The initial configuration has 636 gigabytes total memory and a theoretical peak performance of 3.67 teraflops. TACC plans to expand the system to more than 800 processors before the end of 2003 and more than 1,000 processors within the first year of operation. Cray Inc. of Seattle, WA will integrate and deploy the system using a version of the NPACI Rocks cluster management software call Cray/Rx

" Lonestar will provide tremendous simulation capability for researchers trying to solve challenging research problems, and we expect the system to grow rapidly and continuously. It will rank among the most powerful terascale clusters in the world for academic research," said John R. (Jay) Boisseau, director of TACC. Half of the CPU hours will be allocable through the PACI process, and Boisseau expects the system to be available for early users on October 1.

The acquisition of Lonestar is part of a recent $38 million investment by the University of Texas, a private foundation, and several industrial partners, including Cray and Dell. This investment also created the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES), a new center for interdisciplinary research and graduate study in the computational sciences. "Lonestar will bring extraordinary computing power to ICES researchers and enable our graduate students to get first-hand experience in very large scale parallel computing with broad applications to science and engineering," said Dr. J. Tinsley Oden, director of ICES and leader of NPACI's Engineering thrust area.
- Merry Maisel