Gaea is a Cray XE6 that through a series of upgrades that will culminate in a petascale system by the end of 2011.
In June 2010, installation concluded for a 260-teraflop (trillion calculations per second) Cray XT6 system with 2,576 AMD “Magny-Cours” 12-core, 2.1 GHz processors. After passing a series of acceptance tests, Gaea was released to early users. In September, nearly a dozen users began ramping up their data production.
In June 2011, a 720-teraflop Cray XE6 system will be added to Gaea. It will employ the next-generation AMD Interlagos 16-core processor. After the installation of that second system, the original 260-teraflop system will be upgraded with the same AMD Interlagos processor to achieve 386 teraflops.
The aggregate Gaea system will have a total memory size of 248 terabytes and a peak calculating capability of 1.1 petaflops (quadrillion floating point operations per second), bringing the number of petascale systems at ORNL, the world’s most powerful computing complex, to three.
The next-generation HPC system is liquid-cooled using Cray’s ECOphlex technology, which employs a refrigerant to remove most of the 2.2 MW heat load. The technology is significantly more energy-efficient than the air-cooling systems typically found in other leading-edge HPC systems.
The CMRS includes two separate file systems, both founded on the Lustre parallel file system, to handle data sets that will be among the world’s largest. A high-capacity file system based on DataDirect Networks SFA10000 can stage up to 3.6 petabytes of information. Meanwhile, a high-speed file system with more than a petabyte of storage provides fast scratch space.
NOAA research partners access data remotely through speedy interconnections. Two 10-gigabit (billion bit) lambdas, or optical waves, pass data to NOAA’s national research network through peering points at Atlanta and Chicago.