2018 Cluster Buy-In Update

Dear HPCC users,

Though we are a little behind, we expect the RFP for the new cluster to go out in the next week or so. We clearly cannot talk about any prices for new buy-in computers until we get information back from the RFP, but we are looking at a few categories of compute nodes:

  • Basic compute nodes: two socket, 128GB or so memory. Memory is quite a bit more expensive now than in the past. Manufacturing is not keeping up with present heavy demand (phones, ssd's, graphics cards, etc.).
  • High performance graphics nodes, potentially with the new v100 cards.
  • Less expensive graphics nodes. This is more of a challenge given the present state of consumer graphics cards. Such cards are in short supply because of cryptocurrency mining. Nvidia is actively discouraging resellers from providing solutions in volume with consumer cards. We will still explore this approach but it will be challenging.

We still expect to get a new cluster in the data center by late spring, early summer. Our RFP will include purchasing a new disk and scratch system, so the new cluster can stand on its own once brought up. When the new cluster is tested and in production, we will bring down the old cluster and move its elements to the data center. In this way we hope to avoid any downtime.

We will continue to post information via the newsletter and on the iCER website at https://icer.msu.edu/users/buy-options


Bill Punch,
Associate Director, iCER