NASA Center for Computational Sciences launches new global research Let’s build a smarter planet The NASA Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS), based at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, is one of two organizationsOverview that together support the NASA High-End Computing (HEC)The Need Program. The HEC Program provides more than 77,000 computerNASA’s scientists needed to run higher- processors and peak processing power greater than 800 trillionresolution simulations to improve their ﬂoating-point operations per second (teraﬂops) to the NASA userunderstanding of the changing global cli-mate, boosting their contribution to sev- community.eral major global research initiatives.The Solution The NCCS is a global leader in climate and weather modelingThe NASA Center for Computational research, providing specialized support to the science communitySciences expanded its Discover super- within NASA and making signiﬁcant contributions to high-proﬁlecomputer, adding IBM iDataPlex dx360 global research initiatives.M2 servers with a total of 8,256 IntelXeon 5500 Series processor cores. Climate and weather modeling depend signiﬁcantly on computationalWhat Makes it SmarterEnhanced computational capabilities force: faster processors with access to more memory can run moreallow NASA climate scientists to run detailed simulations within shorter timeframes. Aiming to keep push-high-resolution simulations that repro- ing the envelope and create ever more detailed climate simulations, theduce atmospheric features not previouslyseen in their models, supporting vital NCCS has just added more than 1,000 IBM iDataPlex™ dx360 M2global research. water-cooled servers to its Discover cluster, providing a total of 8,256 new cores of computational power and over 24 TB of highThe Result“The new cluster allows us to see atmos- speed memory.pheric features such as well-deﬁned hur-ricane eye walls and convective cloud “We are the ﬁrst high-end computing site in the United States toclusters for the ﬁrst time—the differencesare stunning.” install the Intel Xeon 5500 Series Quad-core processors dedicated to climate research,” says Phil Webster, chief of Goddard’s– William Putman, acting lead of the Computational and Information Sciences and Technology OfficeAdvanced Software Technology Group,NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CISTO). “This new computing system represents a dramatic step forward in performance for climate simulations.”
Powering vital research The NCCS Discover cluster is composed of six scalable units, all based Business Beneﬁts on Intel Xeon® processors running SUSE Linux® Enterprise Server. ● Delivers ultra-high compute power in a The cluster now has 15,160 processing cores, 8,256 of which use the compact, energy-efficient package latest Intel Xeon 5500 Series Quad-core processors. ● Enables new insights into global cli- mate, supporting major international The four most recent units in the cluster are all based on research initiatives IBM iDataPlex servers, together providing more than 80 percent of ● Reveals previously unseen atmos- the total computational power of Discover. IBM worked with Panduit, pheric features in models, enabling a an IBM Business Partner, to install the high-speed InﬁniBand net- closer match between simulations and reality working for the new cluster units. The upgraded Discover cluster will host NASA’s contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading sci- entiﬁc organization for assessing climate change, and other national and international climate initiatives. For the IPCC studies, the NCCS will perform a variety of short- and long-term simulations, with some models going back a full millennium and forward to 2100. The new IBM iDataPlex servers are helping the NCCS remain at the forefront of global climate research. In addition to the IPCC initia- tives, the organization is contributing to the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System, and the U.S. Weather Research Program—plus several other international programs. With more processing power, the NCCS can create more realistic simulations of the effects of climate change on the planet. These will be of critical importance in helping governments and other agencies to plan more effectively for the future.Smarter Public Sector: Enabling new insights into global climate Instrumented The NASA Center for Computational Sciences generates vast quantities of data from climate and weather models. Interconnected The IBM iDataPlex solution brings together sensor data from numerous sources and numerical models to produce sophisticated and highly detailed climate simulations. Intelligent The new computational capabilities enable NASA climate scientists to create more detailed simulations and reproduce atmospheric features previously not visible in their models.
Unprecedented power Discover delivers unprecedented computational power, revealing previ-Solution Components ously unseen atmospheric features in weather models. At the higherServers resolutions made possible by the IBM iDataPlex machines, simulated● IBM iDataPlex™ dx360 M2 features in the NCCS models are seen to be uncannily close to theirIBM Business Partner real counterparts in satellite imagery.● Panduit “The new cluster allows us to see atmospheric features such as well- deﬁned hurricane eye walls and convective cloud clusters for the ﬁrst time—the differences are stunning,” says William Putman, acting lead of the Advanced Software Technology Group in Goddard’s Software Integration and Visualization Office. The Intel Xeon 5500 processors in the iDataPlex servers enable high speed access to memory, making them especially well-suited to the computational demands of climate studies. According to CISTO lead architect Dan Duffy, “Speed is an inherent advantage for solving com- plex problems, but climate models also require large memory and fast access to memory.” The Xeon 5500 processors in the IBM iDataPlex servers offer three or four times the speed of memory access compared with Discover’s previous-generation processors.“We are the ﬁrst high-end computing site in Efficient computingthe United States to The NCCS aims to run lean, directing as much as possible of its fed-install the Intel Xeon eral funding towards pure research activities. As energy costs continue to rise, this means choosing hardware that is not only cost-effective to5500 Series Quad-core buy, but also cost-effective to run. The IBM iDataPlex dx360 M2 isprocessors dedicated to designed to deliver the maximum possible useful work from each watt consumed, from its high-efficiency power supply to its innovativeclimate research. This shared cooling features. In addition to increased efficiency within thenew computing system server, all IBM iDataPlex servers installed at the Center use innovativerepresents a dramatic water cooling, removing 100 percent of the heat produced and reduc- ing cooling costs.step forward in per-formance for climate For more informationsimulations.” To learn more about how IBM can help you transform your business, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner.– Phil Webster, chief of Goddard’sComputational and Information Sciences andTechnology Office (CISTO) Visit us at: ibm.com/systems/x