High Performance Computing Services

OIT offers resources and support for high-performance computing research.


About UAHPC

The Office of Information Technology employs a high-performance computing team ready to help you in your research endeavors at The University of Alabama.  Our team hosts the hardware for our high-performance computing in a data center environment with redundant power, cooling and moisture control technologies, and extensive physical security.  Node owners receive priority, and our team is always happy to help troubleshoot any issues. Learn more about the research computing services OIT provides to researchers with a purchased share of HPC at UA.

  • Software installation
  • Expertise in building complex software packages
  • Access to Intel Parallel Studio XE and PGI compilers
  • Regularly refreshed operating systems
  • Documentation & training
  • Multiple storage options
  • Globus endpoints for high-speed data transfer
  • Hardware monitoring with repair oversight
  • Cluster scheduler monitoring
  • Security monitoring
  • Maintained user accounts linked with myBama usernames and automatic VPN access

HPC Details

UAHPC (formerly RC2) is a 87 node (1660 core) cluster featuring Dell PowerEdge M610s, M620s, and M630s with over 40 Teraflops theoretical sustained performance. Eighteen nodes contain two Intel 6-Core Nehalem Xeon X5650 processors, 48GB of SDRAM, and the newer nodes contain two Intel 8-Core E5-2650, E5-2640v2, or 10-core E5-2640v3 processors and at least 64GB of RAM per node. The newest nodes have 20-cores with 96 GB or memory. There are five high memory nodes (384 GB up to 1TB). For jobs which need a single node there are several with 48 cores or more, ranging up to 88.

These compute nodes are controlled by a Dell PowerEdge M830 master node containing two 10-core processors, and 3TB of 15,000 RPM SAS6 Hard Drive capacity for sharing applications and home directories across the cluster. In addition, two dedicated storage nodes allow for efficient handling of data between compute nodes and the data storage devices. The storage nodes are connected via PERC H700 or H810 controllers to a total of approximately 100 TB of storage in five Dell PowerVault MD1200s, plus another 20TB of internal disks in the second storage node. The storage nodes have 10G connectivity to the internet.

All nodes are connected internally within their Dell M1000e chassis by Infiniband 4x QDR at a throughput of 40 Gbit/s, and all the chassis are interconnected through a pair of external Infiniband switches (2:1 oversubscribed). Storage is shared between nodes using NFS on IPoIB.

UAHPC Configuration

  • Dell Blade architecture
  • Rocks 7
  • Centos 7
  • SLURM 18.08
  • 2-seat license for Intel Parallel Studio XE for Linux

SciNet

UA SciNet is designed to support the rapid expansion in research across multiple science and engineering disciplines. UA SciNet is based on the design patterns and best practices emerging from Internet2 and ESNet. UA SciNet is an isolated network connecting to the UA wide-area network at the campus network border. It provides 10 Gbps connections between active data-intensive science areas and high performance computing and research storage resources. It provides a bandwidth increase for research and lays the foundation for 100 Gbps connectivity to the wide area network via the UA System Regional Optical network and Southern Crossroads services. It includes a robust performance monitoring and problem resolution component using perfSONAR. It aims to use wide-area remote DMA (RDMA) to achieve high-bandwidth remote access to UA Big Data resources.

The research impacted by the project includes hydro-meteorologic modeling, disaster event prediction and mitigation, human behavior, and particle physics, specifically leveraging the data-intensive operations at the recently completed National Water Center on the UA campus. This project also works in coordination with other initiatives both on campus and at the regional and state levels to ensure its effective integration and to ensure its benefits are fully leveraged. Further, the project brings unique education and training opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and system and network professionals to the areas of advanced network infrastructure, data-intensive science, and performance monitoring and diagnostics.


Alabama Supercomputer Authority

The supercomputers at the Alabama Supercomputer Center are used for college course work and academic research.

Alabama Supercomputer Authority

XSDE

The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment is the most advanced, powerful, and robust collection of integrated advanced digital resources and services in the world.

XSDE

Custom Solutions

Custom computing solutions are available in certain circumstances when one of our other services does not fit your needs. Office of Information Technology Research Computing staff will help you assess your needs and will discuss your options with you – please contact us to get started.