RMACC Summit Supercomputer Broadens Subatomic to Galactic Horizons

University of Colorado Boulder's (CU Boulder) Research Computing Group, part of the Rocky Mountain Advanced Computing Consortium (RMACC), had been running on their Janus supercomputing cluster since late 2010. In 2016, they installed their next-generation system named RMACC Summit, which is supported by CU Boulder and Colorado State University (CSU), to enhance ongoing research and discovery in a variety of areas. RMACC Summit is built on Dell EMC PowerEdge* C6320 Server nodes with Intel® Xeon® processor E5 and E7 family with Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor nodes planned in 2017, all interconnected by Intel® Omni-Path Architecture (Intel® OPA) fabric. RMACC Summit is expected to be nearly 2.5X faster with only one-third the node count and almost half the cores.

Janus was a 1,368-node, 16,416-core cluster based on Intel® Xeon® processor 5000 sequence (formerly codenamed Westmere), delivering 184 TFLOPs. While Janus had contributed to much research, as the university approached 2016, Janus was five years old, new technologies were emerging, and "support costs would rise as warranties began to expire", said Jonathon Anderson, part of CU Boulder's Research Computing Group.

"With the newest generation of interconnect and processors, the amount of bang you get for your space and electrical costs is just so much greater with newer equipment," added Peter Ruprecht, Senior HPC Analyst in the Research Computing Group." Thus, CU Boulder began the process of acquiring a replacement for the aging system. RMACC Summit began installation in the Summer of 2016.