Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center

Northeastern is part of the MGHPCC Consortium which includes four other leading institutions – MIT, the University of Massachusetts, Boston University, and Harvard University – as well as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Holyoke, EMC and Cisco Systems in a historic project – the development of a world-class, high-performance academic research computing facility in Holyoke MA, and a statewide collaborative computational research, education and outreach program. This center – the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) – will be powered by a combination of green and cost-competitive energy, making it a cost-effective and environmentally sound facility.

The 90,300 sq.ft. MGHPCC serves not only as a collocation facility for the hardware supporting the computational research needs of the individual academic institutions, but also represents a unique opportunity to serve as:

  • a collaborative facility for strengthening the state’s leadership in the development and application of high performance computing (HPC) in addressing major challenges facing society:
  • a facility for advancing and showcasing both the research and practice of green computing and smart grids;
  • a catalyst for the development of the IT industry throughout Massachusetts with economic, educational and workforce development benefits to the city of Holyoke, western Massachusetts, and beyond.

Northeastern representatives have been actively involved in all facets of the MGHPCC, including teams focused on research and education, information technology, design and construction, business and operating models, governance and external affairs. Last month Mel Bern­stein, senior vice provost for research and grad­uate education, was unan­i­mously elected pres­i­dent of the center.

The facility’s flexible design will support up to 10 MW of HPC equipment through two phases in the first 10 years, with space on-site for further expansion. Partner institutions benefit from the use of inexpensive hydro-electric power, a low PUE green facility design, a modern, controlled facility with high-speed connectivity, and opportunities for shared services and collaboration with other institutions. The facility connects back to the Northeastern main campus via multiple dedicated 10Gbps optical fibre connections.

Northeastern researchers will be able to make use of the facility for their research computing needs, with various support options. Information Technology Services is in the process of starting up a new centralized 2000-core high performance computing cluster rated at 33 TeraFlops. Researchers can also leverage this shared system in grant proposals. The support models associated with different service options are under active development.

Updates on MGHPCC will be made available through the IS newsletter. Please contact Rajiv Shridhar, Director, System and Production Services (r.shridhar@neu.edu) or Rehan Khan, Vice President and Chief Information Officer (r.khan@neu.edu) with any questions.

Posted in 2013 May IS Newsletter and tagged , , .