Community computing cluster

New high performance computing cluster to be built this spring


9:34 a.m., Jan. 30, 2014--Over the past year, University of Delaware Information Technologies (IT) staff members have met with research faculty to gauge interest in building another high-performance-computing cluster in the spirit of the Mills cluster

During these discussions, interested researchers provided an estimated number of nodes they expect to purchase. Based on those estimates, IT is moving forward with the construction of a new community cluster.

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While the Mills cluster uses AMD's Interlagos processor and a 40 Gbps (QDR) Infiniband network, the new cluster will be built using Intel Ivy Bridge processors and a 56 Gbps (FDR) Infiniband network. A request for proposal has been issued for the purchase of 64 nodes with a baseline node configuration slated to include two Ivy Bridge processors with a minimum of 10 cores each, 64 GB of RAM, and a 56 Gbps (FDR) Infiniband network adapter at a price in the $5,000 to $6,000 range. Currently, 15 faculty researchers have reserved 40-plus nodes.

IT plans to offer faculty the ability to purchase additional nodes at the same price for the next 18 months, allowing the cluster to grow to 300 nodes. Final pricing and any additional details will be communicated to researchers as they become available.

In the community cluster, individual researchers will get priority access to the computing power they purchase without the ongoing financial liability of running their own computing clusters. When other community partners' nodes are idle, they can be used by a cluster stakeholder and his or her research group until the owner needs them. 

Anyone who has questions or is interested in purchasing nodes on the new cluster should send email to

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