Blanca

The Research Computing Condo Computing service offers researchers the opportunity to purchase and own compute nodes that will be operated as part of a cluster, named “Blanca.” The aggregate cluster is made available to all condo partners while maintaining priority for the owner of each node.

Benefits to partners include

  • Data center rack space – including redundant power and cooling – is provided, as is scratch disk space.
  • Partners get significantly prioritized access on nodes that they own and can run jobs on any nodes that are not currently in use by other partners.
  • System configuration and administration, as well as technical support for users, is provided by RC staff.
  • A standard software stack appropriate for a range of research needs is provided. Partners are able to install additional software applications as needed.
  • Bulk discount pricing is available for all compute node purchases.

 

Hard drive replacements

Dell tends to only warranty drives for 1yr, so if a drive fails, chances are we can't replace it under warranty. Further, Dell hard drive prices tend to be high, and users may bristle at having to pay Dell prices for replacement drives.

 

If the user wants us to order a drive, we will order a Dell replacement drive, as recommended by Dell for the server as delivered.

However, if the Blanca customer is willing to order and deliver a drive from an alternative supplier, we will happily receive the drive and provision the node with the replacement drive.

 

Three types of compute nodes are available. The available node types is expected to be refreshed each year.

Node type Specifications Cost Potential uses
Compute node
  • 2x 14-core 2.4 GHz Intel “Broadwell” processors
  • 128 GB RAM at 2400 MHz
  • 1x 1 TB 7200 RPM hard drive
  • 10 gigabit/s Ethernet
$6,875/node general purpose high-performance computation that doesn’t require low-latency parallel communication between nodes
GPU node
  • 2x 14-core 2.4 GHz Intel “Broadwell” processors
  • 128 GB RAM at 2400 MHz
  • 1x 1 TB 7200 RPM hard drive
  • 10 gigabit/s Ethernet
  • 1x NVIDIA P100 GPU coprocessor (12 GB memory)
$13,560/node molecular dynamics, image processing, deep learning
Dual GPU node
  • 2x 14-core 2.4 GHz Intel “Broadwell” processors
  • 128 GB RAM at 2400 MHz
  • 1x 1 TB 7200 RPM hard drive
  • 10 gigabit/s Ethernet
  • 2x NVIDIA P100 GPU coprocessors (16 GB memory)
$20,800/node molecular dynamics, image processing, deep learning
Himem
  • 4x 12-core 3.0 GHz Intel “Ivy Bridge” processors
  • 1024 GB RAM at 1600 MHz
  • 10x 1 TB 7200 RPM hard drives in high-performance RAID configuration
  • 10 gigabit/s Ethernet
$34,511/node genetics/genomics applications