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IU celebrates launch of three new high performance computing systems

Sept. 14, 2016

Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cancer -- all three are deadly diseases, all three are part of genomic research happening at IU through the Precision Health Initiative, and all three will soon benefit from newly available computing systems at IU.

Brad Wheeler

Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and chief information officer, gives remarks at the launch celebration. | PHOTO BY INDIANA UNIVERSITY

With the launch of three new high-performance computing resources at IU, researchers could reach breakthroughs in preventive care for genetic diseases sooner than ever before. From cloud-based, on-demand data analysis, to faster processing times for large-scale computations, each new resource will offer a breadth of applications, making it easier and quicker for researchers to reach their goals.

On Sept. 1, the university celebrated the launch of three new high-performance computing resources available to science and engineering researchers: Jetstream, Big Red II+ and Diet.

"With these new systems, IU continues to provide our researchers the leading-edge computational tools needed for the scale of today’s research problems," said Brad Wheeler, IU vice president for information technology and chief information officer. "Each of these systems is quite distinct in its purpose to meet the needs of our researchers and students."

Jetstream is the first National Science Foundation-supported cloud resource for science and engineering. It makes collaboration and access to research data quicker and easier because users can access Jetstream from their tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Jetstream supports researchers in many fields, such as biology, atmospheric science, earth science, economics and social sciences. IU’s partners in the Jetstream project are:

  • University of Texas at Austin Texas Advanced Computing Center
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Chicago Computation Institute
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Cornell University
  • Collaborating partners are Jackson State University, the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the Odum Institute at the University of North Carolina and the University of Hawai’i.
  • Vendor partners include Dell Inc. and Mathworks.

Big Red II+ will complement the capabilities of Big Red II by providing an environment dedicated to large-scale, compute-intensive research. Researchers, scholars and artists -- who represent more than half the total disciplines and subdisciplines practiced at IU -- have benefited from Big Red II. These users with large-scale research needs can now take advantage of faster processing capability and networking provided by Big Red II+. Big Red II+ will help support programs at the highest level of the university, such as the Grand Challenges Program, and will be available to researchers this fall.

The Diet proof-of-concept testbed, a joint collaboration between Data Vortex Technologies and the School of Informatics and Computing Center for Research in Extreme Scale Technologies, or CREST, will explore uses and implications of the innovative Data Vortex system area network. This new kind of network enables low-latency, high-bandwidth communication of lightweight messages. It can be critical for advancing breakthroughs in major application programs like molecular dynamics for drug design, social networks and national security.

"IU’s high-performance computing resources are second to none," IU School of Informatics and Computing Dean Raj Acharya said. "They provide a distinct competitive advantage for our faculty at the School of Informatics and Computing across a wide range of research areas such as security, complex systems, intelligent systems engineering, and high performance computing."

Strengthening IU's computing resources aligns with several priorities in the university's Bicentennial Strategic Plan, including catalyzing research. 

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