The PNI has recently completed an upgrade of its computing facility to a state-of-the-art installation that meets the growing needs of our research community.
The new equipment includes a mirrored 100TB file server, installed in the summer of 2011, and a compute cluster (416 processors, 1.25TB RAM), installed in October 2009. These systems are housed in secured climate-controlled rooms, and provide network access 24/7 to PNI students, faculty, staff and collaborators.
Central File Server
Collection and analysis of data is central to Institute research, and the need for a centralized, reliable, shared storage pool is critical. The central file server, from BlueArc, Corp., provides 100TB of usable storage for research data, analyses, and administrative data. The primary server is located in Green Hall, where the PNI neuroimaging research facility is housed, and is mirrored nightly to a second 100TB server located off-site at the campus central computing facility.
The primary file server makes use of an extremely high performance, enterprise level disk array from Data Direct Networks, while the mirror site uses a slower, less expensive array of Xyratex disks.
Data from the file server is accessible on the PNI compute cluster and from user workstations both on campus and off. This greatly facilitates collaboration and the sharing of data, and eliminates the need for multiple copies of datasets, saving time and disk space. A 10Gb private network connects the file server to the compute cluster, while 1Gb connectivity is provided to user workstations for desktop analyses and data visualization.
Directly connected to the file server is a compute cluster assembled and installed by Aeon Computing. The new cluster consists of 13 units from Super Micro Computer, Inc., each containing 4 servers, for a total of 52 nodes. Each node contains two quad-core Xeon X5570 processors (Intel), operating at 2.7GHz, for a total of 416 processors, and 24GB of RAM for a total of 1.25TB RAM. The nodes communicate with each other via DDR (20Gbps) Infiniband (Mellanox) in a flat, nonblocking network.