High Performance Computing at Clarkson Update

As many in the Clarkson community are aware, in mid-2019, Clarkson was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to reinvigorate Clarkson’s high performance computing (HPC) infrastructure.  Since that time, the Office of Information Technology and several members of the faculty have been working to install and configure the HPC cluster now known as ACRES: Accelerating Computational Research for Engineering and Science.  This research infrastructure represents a total investment of nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.

ACRES consists of over 60 compute nodes providing 2,480 cores, over 8TB of RAM and four NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU’s.  Backing these compute nodes is a management infrastructure, login node and 40TB of flash storage all connected with Gigabit Ethernet and Infiniband high-bandwidth, low-latency network technologies.

ACRES is founded on the “condominium model” of HPC management.  This means that faculty can buy their own ACRES hardware to be included in the ACRES infrastructure.  The benefit to faculty is that they get dedicated OIT support including software installation, power, cooling, backup, and access to the high-speed networking backbone.  Researchers who buy in are guaranteed immediate access to their own hardware, but share their unused computational cycles with the broader campus.

While still in “beta” development phase, ACRES is already doing useful work for researchers across the campus, having provided several hundred thousand core-hours of compute to on-campus research as well as to the broader scientific community through contributions via the Open Science Grid project.

Want to know more or become more involved? 

Join the Research Computing working group.  This group of seasoned HPC research faculty helps advise OIT and the High Performance Computing Advisory Council that was established as a part of the NSF grant to govern the HPC environment.  It is an excellent opportunity to find other faculty who are leveraging this technology, share use cases and experience with each other.

For more information or to request an account on ACRES, please email helpdesk@clarkson.edu

Joshua A. Fiske ’03, MS ’04

Chief Information Officer and Emergency Response Coordinator

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