Pentagon pours another $53.1 million into the five military supercomputer research centers
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., 26 Oct. 2016. U.S. military researchers announced an investment of $53.1 million Wednesday into a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) program to enhance high-performance computing (HPC) -- or supercomputer technology -- for advanced research work.
Officials of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Huntsville, Ala., announced three separate contracts to two supercomputer companies to acquire commercially available high-performance computing systems for the DOD's High Performance Computing Modernization program.
Cray Inc. in Seattle won a $26.6 million contract, while Silicon Graphics Federal LLC in Annapolis Junction, Md., won separate $17.6 million and $8.9 million contracts -- all for purchase of high-performance computing systems, administration, and maintenance.
The DOD's High Performance Computing Modernization program operates five DOD Supercomputing Resource Centers (DSRCs), located at the Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss.; the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Md.; the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command at Stennis Space Center, Miss.; and at Air Force Research Laboratory facilities in Maui, Hawaii and Dayton, Ohio.
Each center hosts large-scale supercomputers, high-speed networks, multi-petabyte archival mass storage systems, and computational experts.
The centers host large-scale supercomputers and HPC support infrastructures such as local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs) and develop HPC software and support environments. These five DSRCs provide a HPC computational environment and include hardware, software, networking, data storage, archiving, and visualization.
The DOD's High Performance Computing Modernization program was begun in 1993 to modernize DOD's supercomputer infrastructure to address the military's most significant challenges like exploring new theories; using validated applications in design and testing to reduce the time and cost of developing weapon systems; and carrying out complex calculations in real-time to produce just-in-time information for decision makers on the battlefield.
The program seeks to develop and field the most advanced supercomputers and storage systems available for routine use by military researchers at the program's five supercomputing centers across the nation.
Among the most important projects of the High Performance Computing Modernization program is the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) -- a component of the Global Information Grid (GIG) that provides high-bandwidth, low-latency computer networking that serves as a proving ground for new networking and cyber security technologies.
Work on the third generation of the DREN, named DREN III, is in progress. DREN III seeks to enhance networking among the five DSRCs and user sites, and supports DOD scientific research, development, and evaluation.
DREN III provides digital data transfer services at speeds from 50 megabits per second through 100 gigabits per second, and is IPv6 enabled, with legacy support for IPv4. A Secret DREN (SDREN) is a virtual private network overlay of the DREN using SDREN service delivery routers (SDR) and NSA Type 1 encryptors with a common key.
Cray specializes in supercomputers, open-systems data storage, and analytics for real-time data discovery. Silicon Graphics focuses on high-performance computers and data storage for Big Data applications. Silicon Graphics, meanwhile, specializes in high-performance computing, technical computing, big data analytics, and petascale storage.
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