NCSA's Delta Now Fully Operational

10/3/2022 2:21:50 PM Andrew Helregel, NCSA

The Delta system at NCSA’s National Petascale Computing Facility.
The Delta system at NCSA’s National Petascale Computing Facility.

Following an external panel review by the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications is officially deploying Delta, a graphics processing unit (GPU)-heavy compute cluster that will be fully funded by NSF.

In conjunction with the Delta project team, the NSF panel assessed the readiness of the system to enter operations and Delta was approved to begin full production, as well as to make acquisition and operating funds available. The Delta team also worked with industry partners AMD, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NVIDIA and the Science Gateways Community Institute to stand up the project.

William "Bill" Gropp
Bill Gropp

"Delta is a tremendous resource for AI and Machine Learning, as well as simulation," said Bill Gropp, NCSA Director and Illinois CS professor. "Combined with its high-performance file system and features for broader accessibility to communities that have not historically used HPC systems, Delta will help accelerate the adoption and use of these techniques into all areas of research. NCSA thanks the panel for their time, comments and recommendations, which will help us make Delta even more useful to the research community."

NCSA, the pioneering home of the now-retired Blue Waters supercomputer at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, anticipates and expects that the Delta resource will enable scientific research and discovery across a broad range of disciplines both for its local campus and throughout NSF’s national cyberinfrastructure community.

“The Delta project team is excited to move beyond the initial deployment to see the amazing discoveries to come from the teams making use of Delta,” said Brett Bode, deputy project director for Delta and an assistant director at NCSA. “We are looking forward to working with teams to improve the use of GPUs for existing GPU codes, broaden the use of GPUs to new domains and improve the accessibility of Delta and HPC resources in general.”

Delta is based on the HPE Cray supercomputer, delivering a GPU-heavy compute system that consists of 132 CPU nodes (each with dual, 64-core 3rd Gen AMD EPYC™ Processors) and 205 GPU nodes (with 840 NVIDIA GPUs) that are connected through the HPE Slingshot interconnect. The Delta team will also advance accessibility, providing greater usability of the interfaces by the widest possible audience and helping emerging research areas, such as computational archaeology and digital agriculture, take advantage of new computing methods.

NCSA will integrate Delta into the national cyberinfrastructure ecosystem through the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support (ACCESS) and has partnered with the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI) of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) to provide customized, per-domain science gateways, as well as the conventional command line interface (CLI), to reach both traditional and emerging HPC user communities.


Read the original story from NCSA.