DAS-4 (The Distributed ASCI Supercomputer 4) is a six-cluster wide-area distributed system designed by the Advanced School for Computing and Imaging (ASCI). DAS-4 is funded by NWO/NCF (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research), and the participating universities and organizations (see below). As one of its distinguishing features, DAS-4 employs a number of HPC Accelerators (e.g., currently various GPU types, FPGA's are also planned) and a novel internal wide-area interconnect based on light paths.
The goal of DAS-4 is to provide a common computational infrastructure for researchers within ASCI, who work on various aspects of parallel, distributed, grid and cloud computing, and large-scale multimedia content analysis. The following institutes and organisations are directly involved in the realization and running of DAS-4:
- VU University, Amsterdam (VU)
- Leiden University (LU)
- University of Amsterdam (UvA)
- Delft University of Technology (TUD)
- The MultimediaN Consortium (UvA-MN)
- Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)
DAS-4 includes roughly 200 dual-quad-core compute nodes (primarily SuperMicro 2U-twins with Intel E5620 CPUs), spread out over six clusters, located at five sites. The system has been built by ClusterVision. Like its predecessor, DAS-3, DAS-4 is rather heterogeneous in design:
|VU||74||dual quad-core||2.4 GHz||24 GB||30 TB||2*1TB||IB and GbE||16*GTX480 + 2*C2050|
|LU||16||dual quad-core||2.4 GHz||48 GB||50 TB||5*2TB + .5TB SSD||IB and GbE||future upgrade (FPGAs)|
|UvA||16||dual quad-core||2.4 GHz||24 GB||30 TB||1TB||IB and GbE||future upgrade|
|TUD||32||dual quad-core||2.4 GHz||24 GB||18 TB||2*1TB||IB and GbE||8*GTX480|
|UvA-MN||36||dual quad-core||2.4 GHz||24 GB||30 TB||2*1TB||IB and GbE||8*GTX480 + 7*C2050 + 2 x GTX480|
|ASTRON||24||dual quad-core||2.4 GHz||24 GB||24 TB||1*1TB||IB and GbE||8*GTX580 + 1*C2050 + 1*HD6970|
Besides using the ubiquitous Ethernet (1 Gbit/s at the compute nodes, 10 Gbit/s on the head nodes), DAS-4 also employs the high speed InfiniBand interconnect technology. Quad Data Rate (QDR) InfiniBand (IB) is used as an internal high-speed interconnect, but also to connect with the other DAS-4 clusters by means of routers that communicate over dedicated 10 Gbit/s Ethernet lightpaths. These lightpaths are implemented via a fully optical (DWDM) backbone in the Netherlands, SURFnet6. See also: DAS-4 Connectivity.
The operating system the DAS-4 runs is CentOS Linux. Cluster management is done using Bright cluster management suite. In addition, software from many sources is available to support research on DAS-4: the Grid Engine resource management system, various MPI implementations (e.g., OpenMPI and MPICH), optimizing compilers, visualization packages, performance analysis tools, etc.