Army renews key supercomputing contracts
- By Tim Broderick
- Oct 27, 2016
The U.S. Army has renewed two contracts that support and bolster its supercomputing capabilities. Cray Inc. and SGI Federal LLC — both major players in the defense supercomputing world — were each awarded $26.5 million contract modifications for Department of Defense (DoD) high performance computing modernization program purchase of high performance computing systems, administration, and maintenance for fiscal year 2017.
The modifications are part of the four one-year options for system maintenance guaranteed in the original 2014 contracts. SGI installed an ICE X supercomputer and an InfiniteStorage 5600 high performance storage system at the Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The installations would “improve mission-critical research and drive innovation throughout the United States Armed Forces,” according to SGI.
Cray originally furnished a Xeon-powered XC supercomputer and a Cray Sonexion storage system for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Defense Supercomputing Resource Center (DSRC) in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. John West, then-director of the DoD High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), said about the original contract, “Supercomputing is a key enabling technology for the DoD as it continues mission critical work to improve both the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. military.”
The Maryland-based DSRC is one of five such centers. According to a HPCMP factsheet, the DSRCs provide the DoD with several key functions, including “large-scale HPC systems, high-speed networking, multi-petabyte archival mass storage systems, and customer support services.” All five centers run their HPC systems with Cray or SGI technologies.
Cray’s work will be located at the Army Engineer Research and Development Center, while SGI’s work will take place at the Army Research Laboratory. The Army obligated the full amount of both modifications at the time of the awards.
Tim Broderick is a freelance writer for Defense Systems.