Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Apply for Time on TeraGrid by January 15!

Researchers may apply for computational time on TeraGrid until January 15, 2011 (for period April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012)

Scientists, engineers and other U.S. researchers may apply until January 15, 2011 (12:00 midnight submitter’s local time) for the next quarterly review of requests for free allocations of high-performance computer time, advanced user support, and storage resources that are available through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Cyberinfrastructure’s (OCI) TeraGrid. To apply for an allocation of any size, please visit TeraGrid’s online submission system:

Each quarter, a panel of computational experts known as the TeraGrid Resource Allocations Committee (TRAC) evaluates requests primarily on the appropriateness and technical aspects of using TeraGrid resources. Applications received by the January 15 deadline will be considered at the March 2011 TRAC meeting and awards will be available from April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012. Multi-year allocations may be requested with an appropriate justification for use over an extended period of time.

TeraGrid allocates more than 1.5 billion processor hours to meritorious requests each year. Resources currently exceed 2.5 petaflops of combined computing capability and approximately 50 petabytes of online and archival data storage from 11 resource provider sites across the nation. At the December 2010 TRAC, 125 requests for computational time and storage were reviewed, and 290 million service units of computational time were awarded.

For the next cycle, researchers can request time on 24 systems, including eight that were featured on the November 2010 Top500 list. Among the diverse resources available through TeraGrid are:

Kraken at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS)—TeraGrid’s largest system is a 1,030 teraflops Cray XT5, recently upgraded by 144 teraflops with an additional 1,152 nodes for a peak performance of 1,174 teraflops. Users may also request time on NICS’ Athena, a 166 teraflops Cray XT4 system, as part of a Kraken/Athena cluster.
Ranger at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)—TeraGrid’s second largest system is a 579 teraflops Sun Constellation Cluster.
Nautilus (NICS) and Longhorn (TACC) remote visualization and data analysis systems are the first resources to be awarded under the eXtreme Digital, or XD phase of NSF-supported cyberinfrastructure.
Wispy, a production cloud environment is available at Purdue, featuring a cluster running KVM and the Nimbus cloud software. Users can submit disk images to run a virtual machine with up to 4 CPUs and 16GB of memory.
Ember, a new shared memory supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), features a peak performance of 16 teraflops, double the performance of its predecessor, Cobalt.

New resources will be available this cycle. The new Lonestar at TACC will be placed into production February 1, 2011. This 302 teraflops system, coupled with a 1 petabyte Luster file system, will be allocated separate from the Abe/QueenBee/Steele/Lonestar Dell PowerEdge Cluster pool. The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) will soon offer a 324-node/100 Teraflops system with 38 terabytes of flash memory, called Trestles. The system will work with, and span the deployments of, SDSC’s recently introduced Dash system and its larger Gordon data-intensive system, which will be operational late 2011. The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) will introduce Blacklight, an Altix UV system, featuring 512 Nehalem eight-core 2.26 GHz processors with 32 terabytes of memory, partitioned into two connected 16-terabyte coherent shared-memory systems — creating the two largest coherent shared-memory systems in the world.

For the most current information about TeraGrid resources, visit the resource catalog: Tips for writing a successful resource request are included at

TeraGrid and Indiana University Introduce FutureGrid, an Experimental Cloud Test Bed

FutureGrid, an experimental grid test bed, is available (for early adopter use) to researchers who are developing new grid and cloud application frameworks. FutureGrid is a proving ground on which to test applications in a variety of different environments (e.g. CTSS vs. clouds). Access and accounts are managed by Indiana University via an online process. For more information, please visit: or contact

TeraGrid’s Transition to XD—The Future is Now!

The NSF has already begun to introduce elements of the next phase of their investment in high-end computing: the eXtreme Digital, or XD, program, which will supplant the TeraGrid program. In 2010, new services were announced, including the Technology Audit Services (TAS) and Technology Insertion Services (TIS). TAS, managed by the Center for Computational Research at the University at Buffalo, State Universities of New York (SUNY), will have systemic tools in place to benchmark user satisfaction and resource utilization across the board. TIS, awarded to NCSA, PSC, NICS, and TACC, will feature a means by which to identify the most promising technologies to meet evolving demands. These services will allow us to be better stewards of XD resources and optimize their use by an increasing number of users and new fields of research. A competition for the management of XD is under review by NSF and is expected to be announced in late spring of 2011. For more information about XD, visit the NSF/OCI web site:

For the most up-to-date information, including an XD transition schedule and answers to frequently asked questions, visit: Contact TeraGrid with specific questions by email:, via the TeraGrid User Portal web form (select the consulting tab), or by calling 1-866-907-2383.

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