Completed project: Big Red II

Primary UITS contact: Matt Allen

Completed: April 11, 2014

Description: Big Red II is Indiana University's main system for high-performance parallel computing. Big Red II was the first announced system capable of at least 1 petaFLOPS to be owned by and operated solely for the benefit of a single university.

With a peak performance of 1 petaFLOPS, Big Red II offers users a hybrid compute environment consisting of:

  • CPU compute nodes: Each featuring two AMD Abu Dhabi X86-64 processors with 16 cores each, these nodes provide 32 cores and 64 GB of memory per node.
  • GPU-enabled compute nodes: Each containing one AMD Interlagos X86-64 processor and one NVIDIA Kepler K20 GPU accelerator, these nodes provide 32 GB of memory.

For more system details, see Big Red II at Indiana University.

Outcome: Big Red II replaced Big Red as the primary resource for high-performance parallel computing at IU. The Gemini interconnect of Big Red II is a substantial improvement over Big Red's Myrinet interconnect. Researchers are able to run small- and large-scale parallel jobs on Big Red II, using pre-installed applications and applications developed or installed by users.

Additionally, Big Red II supports applications that can take advantage of GPU accelerators. Popular software packages that employ GPUs are available on the system, and developers may use available tools to develop new GPU applications.

Milestones and status:

  • January-February 2013: Detailed information available online
  • April 9, 2013: Big Red II delivered
  • April 9, 2013: Big Red II pre-launch workshop (see workshop slides)
  • April-May 2013: Acceptance testing
  • April 9, 2013: Pre-launch Big Red II Workshop, CIB Wrubel Commons
  • April 26, 2013: Dedication ceremony
  • May 2013: Final acceptance testing and benchmarking
  • Mid-June 2013: Early user mode
  • August 7, 2013: Start of production of Big Red II
  • September 30, 2013: Big Red shut down for the final time
  • October 2, 2013: Second Big Red II Workshop, IMU
  • January 24, 2014: Third Big Red II Workshop, Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute (IUPUI)
  • April 2014: One year after the delivery of Big Red II, users of the system, representing nearly 90 different academic disciplines, continue to port their codes, or make use of existing codes built for the NVIDIA GPU accelerators. The CPU nodes are routinely fully utilized.

Comment process: The UITS High Performance Systems group supports Big Red II. If you have system-specific questions about Big Red II, email High Performance Systems.

If you have questions about compilers, programming, scientific/numerical libraries, or debuggers, email the UITS Scientific Applications and Performance Tuning group.

Benefits: To highlight the benefits users could expect from the transition to Big Red II, UITS developed a performance comparison of common benchmarks and applications; see Big Red II Comparisons.

Related information: See the Big Red II home page.

Primary client: IU graduate students, faculty, and staff

Client impact: Various UITS units collaborated to make the transition from Big Red to Big Red II as smooth as possible for researchers, providing new and updated Knowledge Base information to support Big Red II users, and tutorials and workshops to help users make the most of the new system.

Project team:

  • Matt Allen
  • Bret Hammond
  • Dave Hancock
  • Robert Henschel
  • Jenett Tillotson
  • Ray Sheppard

Governance: Craig Stewart, Associate Dean for Research Technologies

This is document bdez in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2016-11-13 11:23:06.

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