02/27/2018 Director's Note: New Cluster Updates

Hello HPC users!

A couple of developments you might like to know about:

  1. The RFP for the next cluster has been released and is being considered by vendors. This is the first step in figuring out what we might buy for the 2018 cluster. We are three months or so away from any decisions, but once we get closer, we will be able to provide accurate pricing for the new cluster and buy-ins. Stay tuned!
  2. The new MSU Data Center is up and running. A number of servers from ITS are now housed and running there. In fact, as a result of flooding near the Hannah Administration Building and Computer Center, more servers than were expected have been moved. The new 2018 HPC cluster (and eventually the older clusters) will also be housed in this center.
  3. Obtaining commercial GPUs such as the 1080Ti remain an issue. Bitcoin mining and other cryptocurrency have gobbled up most of the supply. This is a concern to NVIDIA, as their main revenue source is gamers. With a dwindling supply, gamers are looking at alternative GPU sources, such as AMD, and this concerns NVIDIA greatly. It is not clear whether the supply problems will clear up anytime soon, but it is a concern for some of our users. Of course, the more expensive V100 chips are available now. We will continue to monitor the problem and keep you apprised.


Bill Punch,
Associate Director, iCER