High Performance Computing
Main article: Piper
Piper was our ETA-10P million dollar supercomputer won by the the 1987 SuperQuest team. It came with 2GB of disk storage and 64MB of RAM, and ran ETA System V UNIX. It was used to run computational simulations written in Fortran, and was used extensively by Supercomputing Applications and Senior Research students. Unfortunately, due to a leak in the roof, it has broken down. Even if it hadn't, its value was diminishing, since PCs were catching up to it. The only remains of the original supercomputer are the original floorplans, which are taped inside of the machine room electrical panel. The trophy from the SuperQuest competition can still be seen in the windows of the machine room from the hallway in front of the systems lab.
The supercomputer was maintained for the first two years by ETA, who also stationed a full-time support person at the school. After the 2-year operations contract, TJ was expected to meet the $100,000 annual cost of the machine. Time rented out on the supercomputer was for educational uses only
Main article: Celeron Cluster
Cluster was a set of 16 Celeron 300MHz machines with 128MB RAM, DLink DFE-530TX NICs, and no HDs.
In 2002, Cray donated the current SV1 supercomputer, seymour (or simply "the cray"). Although largely outdated by modern computers, the Cray is still an integral part of the lab and the machine room, as it is a prominent visual for visitors and bureaucrats to see what TJ students can accomplish. The Cray has been easily surpassed in computation by the servers, and even workstations in the lab, and is turned off all of the time.
Main article: MIPS Cluster
The MIPS Cluster consists of 22 Cobalt Raq2s obtained by donation circa 2004, each containing a 400MHz MIPS processor. These have been out of use for a while now, and as of fall 2010 are sitting outside of the Machine Room near the printers.
In late 2006 somewhere between 8-9 Mac minis were purchased for the purpose of making a quick and dirty cluster. Not much really happened with these, they were workstations for a bit, ran Gentoo or another flavor of Linux for a bit, but never were really used for a cluster.
The Syslab received about 140 Itanium2 servers as a donation from Northrup Grumman (tax write-off, most likely). These servers all had the ability to be connected via Infiniband, for which they also provided a switch.
- Industry Briefs: Alexandria Team Wins Million-Dollar SuperQuest
- Programmed for Victory; Fairfax Students Win a Supercomputer
- CSL Systems - ETA10-P, 22 September 1996. 3 October 2010.