• United States

DoD deploys Linux clusters

Aug 26, 20042 mins
Data CenterLinux

* Defense Department receives two Linux clusters, with more on the way

Two U.S. Department of Defense installations last week received 256-node Linux clusters from Linux Networx for work in battlefield simulations.

The Maui High Performance Computing Center (MHPCC), part of the University of Hawaii, and the Major Shared Resource Center (MSRC) of the Aeronautical Systems Center will each deploy 256-processor Linux Networx clusters. The MSRC is located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The cluster at MHPCC has a theoretical capacity of 1.5 teraflops.

The clusters will run software that simulates troop movements, how vehicles take part in a supply line and battlefield activity. For instance, the clusters can simulate what it would take to move 3,000 troops among a million civilian vehicles.

The clusters are part of a Defense Department contract for the delivery of six clusters, including the largest, a 2,132-node Linux Networx system being installed at the Army Research Center. They are part of the Defense Department’s Technology Insertion 2004 program, which is intended to modernize the organization’s high-performance computing capabilities.

The clusters at MHPCC and MSRC use dual Intel Xeon processors running at 3.06 GHz. They have 10 terabytes of storage in a storage-area network (SAN) from DataDirect, and use Linux Networx Clusterworx and Icebox management tools. Each of the clusters also uses Red Hat Linux.

An Icebox provides a serial terminal server to the cluster and remote-controlled power distribution. Each Icebox supports as many as 10 nodes and two auxiliary devices. They have network connections and can monitor the temperature of the nodes and reset the server motherboards if necessary.

Linux Networx Clusterworx is management software users deploy to install, configure, maintain and monitor clusters that can use a variety of interconnects, including Gigabit Ethernet, Myricom’s Myrinet, InfiniBand or Quadric’s OsNET. The cluster at the Army Research Center, for example, is interconnected with Myricom’s Myrinet.