The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin is going to get a major speed boost this summer, and it won’t come from new CPUs. Internet2, the research project that acts as a test bed for new Internet technologies, will take TACC’s massive computing system from 10GB to 100GB of Ethernet throughput.
TACC is a major research institution and used by scientists across the country to perform computer science and engineering computational tasks through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE).
TACC supercomputers are regularly found near the top of the Top 500 supercomputer list, which ranks the world’s fastest supercomputers. Ranger, which was built by Sun Microsystems in 2008 and debuted at the number-five position on the list, has reached the end of its functional lifespan and was decommissioned in March. Lonestar, an older computer significantly updated by TACC, has also been featured on the Top500 list. Finally there’s Stampede, a 6,400-node system that went online this past January.
While the supercomputers were fast, the connectivity wasn’t quite up to snuff. So TACC began the emigration to the Internet2 network. TACC is a key partner in the UT Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC), which provides a combination of advanced computing, high-bandwidth network connectivity, and large data storage to all 15 of the UT system schools. So not only is TACC upgraded to Internet2′s 100GB and 8.8 terabit-per-second optical network, platform, services and technologies, so is the entire UT system.
“This Internet2 bandwidth upgrade will enable researchers to achieve a tenfold increase in moving data to/from TACC’s supercomputing, visualization and data storage systems, greatly increasing their productivity and their ability to make new discoveries,” TACC director Jay Boisseau wrote in a statement.
Internet2 consists of more than 220 U.S. universities, 60 leading corporations, 70 government agencies, 38 regional and state education networks, and more than 100 national research and education networking partners, representing more than 50 countries.