EDMONTON, Alberta, 24 July 2007. Obsidian Research Corporation's Longbow Campus products have enabled NASA to relocate 15 percent (1,536 processors) of its high-ranking SGI Altix-based Columbia Supercomputer to another facility and connect both locations without any performance degradation.
This move allows NASA to free up additional building space in its compute center, to reduce the power and cooling requirements on any single location, and to create multisite supercomputer clusters that now can scale, perform, and be managed as if they resided in one physical location.
By deploying eight Longbow Campus products at each end, NASA extends its InfiniBand fabric 3km, provides 8 GB/sec of bandwidth between the two locations, and only adds an additional 2RU worth of equipment that consumes a negligible 150W.
NASA's Columbia supercomputer, located in Mountain View, Calif., is a 10,240-core system composed of twenty 512-core nodes, based on SGI Altix 4700 and 3700 systems. Each Altix node is connected via NumaLink, while node-to-node communication is done over 10Gb/s InfiniBand. Ranked the 13th most powerful supercomputer in the world, Columbia is well suited for large-scale applications that involve substantial inter-processor communication and I/O, and is used to run some of NASA's toughest science and engineering problems.
Currently 15 percent of the Columbia system (1,536 processors) now resides in a different building on NASA's campus with eight Longbow Campus systems on each side of the link. This production environment can now be managed, perform, and scale as each Longbow system presents as a two-port InfiniBand switch and adds only 840ns of latency (an order of magnitude less than Ethernet interworking) beyond the optical flight time between the two buildings.