Three years in the making, the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) officially opened its doors in Holyoke on November 16, 2012, the culmination of a historic partnership to develop a world-class, high-performance, academic research computing center.

Powered by a combination of “green” and cost-competitive traditionally sourced energy,the center offers a sustainable solution to the exponential growth in computational research needs of its member institutions—Northeastern University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts, and Harvard University.

The MGHPCC, developed in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Holyoke, EMC and Cisco Systems, also represents a unique collaborative platform for its partners to accelerate the application of high performance computing (HPC) in addressing complex challenges facing society.

“We are committed to working collaboratively with all college deans and faculty to help them leverage this important shared computational research facility,” explained Rehan Khan, vice president and chief information officer for Information Services. “This will include hiring dedicated personnel to conduct outreach and training, and provide proposal development support and equipment advice to researchers.”

Northeastern’s researchers will be able to access the facility for their research computing needs via a dedicated high-speed optical fiber network, and choose among various support options. The university will maintain a shared HPC infrastructure in the facility for use by all researchers. Researchers will be able to add standardized equipment to the shared system where it is centrally supported, in return for equivalent priority access. In addition, a dedicated service option will allow equipment purchased by a researcher to be hosted and maintained centrally by the university, for use by the researcher and designated partners. Partner institutions will begin moving equipment into the facility later this winter.

Even before its doors opened, the MGHPCC was creating new opportunities for its members to address pressing research problems, including major cross-collaborative initiatives in cybersecurity and big data. In the past few months, partners have secured a $2.3 million National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation award. In addition, $1.2 million in seed funds have been allocated for collaborative research by consortium researchers. Awardees have included David Kaeli, Hossein Mosallaei, and Gunar Schirner in Northeastern’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. A second round of awards will be announced in January.

For more information on the MGHPCC, contact Rehan Khan or Rajiv Shridhar, director of Systems and Production Services, at northeastern.edu/is/mghpcc