Big Red II+ at Indiana University

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System overview

Big Red II+ is a supercomputer that complements Indiana University's Big Red II by providing an environment dedicated to large-scale, compute-intensive research. Researchers, scholars, and artists with large-scale research needs have benefited from Big Red II; these users can now take advantage of faster processing capability and networking provided by Big Red II+. The system will help support programs at the highest level of the university, such as the Grand Challenges Program.

Big Red II+ is a Cray XC30 supercomputer providing 550 compute nodes, each containing two Intel Xeon E5 12-Core x86_64 CPUs and 64 GB of DDR3 RAM. Big Red II+ has a theoretical peak performance (Rpeak) of 286 trillion floating-point operations per second (286 teraFLOPS). All compute nodes are connected through the Cray Aries interconnect.

Like Big Red II, Big Red II+ runs a proprietary variant of Linux called Cray Linux Environment (CLE). In CLE, compute elements run a lightweight kernel called Compute Node Linux (CNL), and the service nodes run SUSE Enterprise Linux Server (SLES). The system uses Slurm to coordinate resource management and job scheduling.

The Data Capacitor II parallel file system is mounted for temporary storage of research data. The Modules environment management package on Big Red II+ allows users to dynamically customize their shell environments.

System access

On Big Red II+, accounts available to researchers run existing code or develop new code that will scale to use at least 6,144 CPU cores. Principal Investigators (PIs) may request access to Big Red II+ by completing and submitting the Big Red II+ Access Request application.

Researchers using Big Red II+ are required to meet annually with Research Technologies (RT) staff to review project status and provide RT with a list of publications where usage of Big Red II+ is acknowledged; for more, see If I use IU's research cyberinfrastructure, what sources of funding do I need to acknowledge in my published work?

Once your account is created, you can use your IU username and passphrase to log into Big Red II+ ( with any SSH2 client. Public key authentication also is permitted; see How do I set up SSH public-key authentication to connect to a remote system?

For enhanced security, SSH connections that have been idle for 60 minutes will be disconnected. To protect your data from misuse, remember to log off or lock your computer whenever you leave it.

Connections from off-campus require IU VPN

Connections to the login nodes on Big Red II+ are allowed only from the IU network. If you are off campus, use the IU VPN to connect to the IU network. For more about IU's VPN service, see About the IU VPN. Email questions to High Performance Systems.

Maintenance window

The scheduled monthly maintenance window for IU's high-performance computing systems is the second Sunday of each month, 7am-7pm.

Available software

Big Red II+ researchers are free to install application software in their home directories. For system software or compiler compilers, email High Performance Systems.

Setting up your user environment

On the research computing resources at Indiana University, the Modules environment management system provides a convenient method for dynamically customizing your software environment.

For more about using Modules to configure your user environment, see On the research computing systems at IU, how do I use Modules to manage my software environment?

Big Red II+ provides programming environments for the Cray, Intel, PGI, and GNU Compiler Collections (GCC) compilers. For information about using these compiler suites, see Compiling C, C++, and Fortran programs on Big Red II and Big Red II+ at IU .

File storage options

Before storing data on this system, make sure you understand the information in the Working with data containing PHI section (below).

Working with data containing PHI

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) established rules protecting the privacy and security of individually identifiable health information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Security Rule set national standards requiring organizations and individuals to implement certain administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected health information (PHI).

This system meets certain requirements established in the HIPAA Security Rule that enable its use for research involving data that contain protected health information (PHI). You may use this resource for research involving data that contain PHI only if you institute additional administrative, physical, and technical safeguards that complement those UITS already has in place.

Although PHI is one type of institutional data classified as Critical at IU, other types of institutional data classified as Critical are not permitted on Research Technologies systems. For help determining which institutional data elements classified as Critical are considered PHI, see Which data elements in the classifications of institutional data are considered protected health information (PHI)?

For more, see When using UITS Research Technologies systems and services, what are my legal responsibilities for protecting the privacy and security of data containing protected health information (PHI)?

If you need help or have questions, contact UITS HIPAA Consulting.

Running jobs on Big Red II+

Big Red II+ uses the Slurm workload manager. Job scripts must be tailored specifically for the Cray Linux Environment on Big Red II+.

For more on Slurm, see:

Current queue structure

Queue Min nodes Max nodes Total nodes
Large (default) 32 260 260
Small 0 64 288
Interactive 0 2 2

Acknowledging source of funding in published work

All papers and other scholarly printed works that make use of Big Red II+ should include:

This research was supported in part by Lilly Endowment, Inc., through its support for the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute.


If you have system-specific questions about Big Red II+, email High Performance Systems (HPS).

For questions about development tools, compilers, scientific or numerical libraries, or debuggers available on Big Red II+, contact Scientific Applications and Performance Tuning (SciAPT) at

This is document aoku in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-30 14:24:11.

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