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History of HPC at the CMM

The HPC group at the CMM started the 2005 with the acquisition of the first HPC system with Infiniband (SRD) connectivity in Chile. This cluster, called syntagma, was integrated by Hewlett Packard (HP) and the HPC group@CMM was on charge of the software stack for HPC (which was based on Rocks). The highlights of this machine was their 32 Itanium-2 (montecito) processors interconnected through a Voltaire Infiniband SDR switch delivering a very low latency between processors (about nanoseconds) with throughput up-to 10Gbps. Also it is worth to mention the visualization wall integrated by the HPC@CMM featuring a 51" screen based on Nvidia GForce-2 cards. The cost of this HPC infrastructure was about USD 120k funded by a Fundacion Andes grant. The HPC@CMM group was led by Alejandro Jofre and its members were Juan-Carlos Maureira, Eduardo Moreno and Gonzalo Hernandez, and four research projects were associated to this initiative: bioinformatics, weather forecasting, optimization and telecommunications.

At late 2009, the HPC@CMM group started a new challenge on its HPC infrastructure with the acquisition of an IBM iDataplex HPC system featuring a 8TB Lustre parallel filesystem, 528 cores Intel nehalem processors and a QLogic QDR Infiniband switch, which provides a 100% non-blocking communication among its 66 compute nodes at rates up-to 40Gbps. This cluster, called levque, targeted a broader scientific community, which quickly was extended beyond the CMM frontiers. Nowadays levque is delivering an HPC capacity to users across faculties at the University of Chile and also including users from other national universities, such as the USACH, PUC and UFRO. The HPC@CMM group responsible of this initiative was led by Alejandro Jofre and Jaime San Martin and the CMM engineers involved were Claudio Baeza and Pierre Nancel.

Nowadays the HPC@CMM group is levering a nationwide HPC initiative with the National Laboratory for HPC (NLHPC) project, which aims at establishing a large HPC infrastructure across the country by deploying a 2000 cores (Intel Sandy Bridge) cluster at the CMM and 6 satellite HPC system in it partner universities: Catolica del Norte University (UCN) in Antofagasta, Federico Santa Maria University (USM) in Valparaiso, University of Santiago (USACH) and Pontificia Universidad Catolica (PUC) in Santiago, University of Talca (UTalca) in Talca and the University la Frontera (UFRO) in Temuco. All these sites connected through REUNA, the Chilean academic network.