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University works with HP to deliver HPC solution

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 17, 2009 – HP today announced the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for Advanced Computational Research (MSI) has chosen HP blade servers for a new high-performance computing system to power research across a broad range of disciplines, including life and physical sciences and engineering.

The new HP system at MSI placed No. 67 on the recently published TOP500 list of the world’s top supercomputers, which HP ProLiant blade severs continue to lead with 42 percent of entries.

Powered by 1,083 HP ProLiant BL280c G6 servers with 8,664 computing cores, the new supercomputer, named “Itasca” by MSI, delivers 97 teraflops of theoretical computing performance.(1) The system delivers three times the aggregate theoretical peak performance of MSI’s other core computing resources.

MSI is celebrating its 25th anniversary as an interdisciplinary research program spanning all the University of Minnesota colleges. Today, MSI supports almost 500 active research groups and more than 4,000 active users across a wide range of disciplines rely on its diverse computational resources.

Among the reasons MSI chose the HP ProLiant BL280c are its scalable quad-core computing performance and memory capabilities. With outstanding dual-processor performance and price per watt, the HP ProLiant BL280c reduces overall data center power consumption while maintaining high performance.

The processing density of the HP ProLiant BL280c is ideal for analyzing massive data sets such as those used for mathematical algorithms and scientific modeling. The HP ProLiant BL280c G6 delivers up to a 190.8 megaflops-per-watt ratio,(2) running the TOP500 Linpack Benchmark across a 1056-node system.

The HP supercomputer at MSI features 24 gigabytes of RAM per node, a 40 Gb QDR InfiniBand interconnect and more than 150 terabytes of attached storage. As a result, MSI anticipates improved capacity for running high-performance applications that resolve research challenges.

It’s always cool to see what solutions have been put in place to deliver high performance computing and it’s interesting to note that they are using the BL280c G6. Anything the vendors can do to further the adoption of hpc solutions to meet business or research needs has to be a good thing for the technology and the grid/hpc concepts.

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