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Hardware Specifications for the Computing Cluster

The College Computing Cluster has 460 CPU cores in 77 computers, named csc2-node01 through csc2-node77. The first, also known as cluster, is reserved for job management and software development, and is the only one you will usually log in to.

Nodes 1-51 each have:

  • 2 x 4-core Intel® Xeon® 64-bit CPUs running at 3.0 GHz;
  • 16 GB of RAM;
  • 143 GB of disk space available through the local directory /tmp or the directory /home/<username>/cluster-scratch (written locally but shared with the other cluster computers);

Nodes 52-77 have:

  • 2 x 1-core AMD® Opteron ® 64-bit CPUs running at 2.6 GHz;
  • 4 GB of RAM;
  • 69 GB of disk space available through the local directory /tmp or the directory /home/<username>/cluster-scratch (written locally but shared with the other cluster computers);

In addition, each node has access to shared network disk space:

  • 528 GB of disk space for general use, accessed through each user's home directory /home/<username>;
  • 2 TB of disk space for old projects, accessed through /home/<username>/cluster-archive;

If you don't need to access files written by your software (for example if you are using the parallel universe), then it is fastest to write any intermediate files in /tmp. If you want to access the files after job completion, you should write them in cluster-scratch since it is fast but also network accessible. Any files that you won't be using for a while can be moved to cluster-archive for storage.

The Computing Cluster was originally set up in late 2005 with 52 CPUs in 26 computers, plus a single-CPU head node. In the Fall of 2008, an additional 408 CPU cores in 51 computers were added.