The new IPPP Grid cluster is now available for use and has been in full operation since the beginning of January 2009. The new cluster now provides 1 Million SpecInt2k - a factor of 12 increase on the old cluster. This is a significant improvement in computational power to assist particle physics research through the pheno VO and other grid users.
The new cluster consists of 3 new front end machines and 84 new worker nodes. Using twin-servers, two machines can be packed in a 1U server, providing huge CPU power in a small area. A total of 672 job slots are available to provide the 1 M SpecInt2k - with each worker node consisting of:
- Dual processor, quad core providing 8 cores per machine.
- Low-power Xeon L5430 for greater power efficiency and lower running costs.
- 16GB RAM per machine, providing 2GB per core.
- Dual bonded gigabit ethernet
- 0.5TB Hard Disk
- Installed with the Scientific Linux 4.7 OS
A new high spec UI is available to allow the preparation, submission and retrieval of jobs and data. The cluster also provides 3 disk servers providing a total of 30TB of usable grid storage.
The management and functionality of the cluster has also improved dramatically. Switchable PDUs and a private IPMI network has been setup for improved service management. The old front end machines have been replaced with new shiny models, and each front-end service is now running as a virtual machine. This allows for great flexibility and helps lower costs with the following services all running as Virtual Machines:
- Two CEs (Computing Elements) for Grid job submission and control.
- Torque server for the PBS batching system to control job scheduling.
- BDII for information handling to report cluster usage.
- SE (Storage Element) for storage head node functionality.
- Install host for kickstarting and cfengine fabric management.
- Mon box for publishing accounting information.
- Monitoring box running ganglia and nagios.