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IU aids BigJack upgrade

Staff from Indiana University assisted in building a new HPC cluster at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota.

As part of its Campus Bridging effort, the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), the Capabilities and Resource Integration staff from Indiana University assisted in building a new HPC cluster at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. Kevin Brandt, manager of the Networking and Research Computing team at SDSU, reached out to campus bridging staff asking for guidance on upgrading their existing cluster, BigJack, using the tools provided by XSEDE. The BigJack cluster currently serves about 100 active users on campus, enabling research in a variety of domain science areas.

Over the course of a week, XCRI staff helped implement the XSEDE Compatible Basic Cluster toolkit on unused nodes, using the OpenHPC tools and XNIT (XSEDE National Integration Toolkit) repositories to provide modern cluster management and scientific software. The new cluster, named Campanile, will eventually integrate the nodes currently used in BigJack, resulting in a final size of 71 nodes, with 3360 TB of total RAM and 840 total cores. Tom Crowe, at Indiana University, gave additional help on the setup of Infiniband hardware, while Francesco Pontiggia (at Harvard as of May 2017) consulted based on his experience running an OpenHPC-based XCBC with authentication to local Active Directory resources. 

CBRI at SDSU

From Left to Right: Maria Kalyvaki, HPC Domain Specialist, Chad Julius, Cluster System Support and Development, Brian Moore (front), HPC Domain Specialist, Kevin Brandt, Manager of Networking and Research Computing, and Eric Coulter, XCRI Engineer, in front of the Campanile and BigJack clusters. Photo credit: Nate Clapp

The new HPC cluster at SDSU will allow the research computing group to continue providing high quality service to their users, with a modern operating system and greater ease of transition to XSEDE resources. The new build ensures that SDSU admins are familiar with all the internals of their system, and will enable them to easily integrate all of their available hardware into the system, broadening their compute capabilities without additional spending.