High Performance Computing

DOD adds three Cray supercomputers to its HPC program

The Air Force and Navy will soon be getting new additions to their supercomputer collections. The Defense Department has awarded two supercomputing contracts totaling more than $40 million to Cray Inc. to furnish several systems for the DOD’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), the company announced.

Cray will provide a total of three Cray XC30 supercomputers and two Cray Sonexion storage systems. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright Patterson Air Force Base will get one of the supercomputers and storage systems. The other two XC30s and the remaining storage system will be delivered to the Navy’s DOD Supercomputing Resource Center at Stennis Space Center.

The systems are expected to be delivered and installed sometime in 2014.

The HPCMP is designed to focus on technological innovation and seeks to enhance DOD research, acquisition and operations. Through high performance computing, the program works on topics ranging from computational fluid dynamics to environmental quality modeling.

"Supercomputing is a critical enabler for the wide variety of science, technology, test, evaluation and acquisition engineering communities that the DOD HPC Modernization Program supports," said John West, director of the DOD's High Performance Computing Modernization Program, according to the Cray announcement. "These new systems are a key component of our strategy of making sure the DOD's scientists and engineers have access to the most modern, capable and usable computational tools available. We are especially pleased that the successful completion of this purchase marks the realization of the potential value of our streamlined process for large system acquisition, with benefits for both the government and our commercial partners."

The XC30 supercomputers and Sonexion storage systems represent the continuing growth of the DOD program. The Sonexion storage system alone can provide six petabytes, or 6,144 terabytes, of storage capacity while operating at a third-of-a-terabyte per second storage performance. Combined with the XC30, which boasts of a unique Aries system interconnect, a Dragonfly network topology, and innovative cooling techniques, the two systems are designed to meet the DOD’s need for a complete advanced computing environment.


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