Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Durham Cluster Provides 1M SI2k

After a few teething problems with power and cooling, the new Durham cluster has finally passed the acceptance testing phase of the tender and is in full operation.

The new cluster now provides 1 Million SI2k - greater than a factor of 10 increase on the old cluster! CPU usage by the pheno VO has increased and we have seen jobs from a number of VOs (atlas, lhcb, cms, biomed, ngs, snemo etc) - though work has still to be done to ensure atlas and lhcb production jobs are running successfully.

The new cluster consists of 3 new front end machines and 84 new worker nodes. Using twin-servers, two machines can be packed in a 1U server, providing huge CPU power in a small area. A total of 672 job slots are available to provide the 1 MSpecInts - with each worker node consisting of:

* Dual processor, quad core providing 8 cores per machine.
* Low-power Xeon L5430 for greater power efficiency and lower running costs.
* 16GB RAM per machine, providing 2GB per core.
* Dual bonded gigabit ethernet
* 0.5TB Hard Disk
* Installed with the Scientific Linux 4.7 OS

The cluster also proves 3 disk servers providing a total of approx 30TB of usable grid storage.

The management and functionality of the cluster has also improved dramatically with many front end machines moved to virtual machines. More information on this will follow in a separate blog.

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