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Our Hardware Infrastructure

This is a short overview of some of the interesting architectures and machines that are available at the Department of Scientific Computing, used both for education and research purposes.

CORA: GPU Cluster

The CORA GPU cluster comprises 8 computational nodes and one frontend with two Intel Xeon quad- core X5550 2.66Ghz CPUs and 24GB DDR3-1333 system memory. Each of the computational nodes is additionally equiped with two nVidia Tesla C1060 GPUs. A Tesla C1060 provides 240 Streaming- cores, 4GB GDDR3 device memory and a single- precision peak performance of 933 Gflop/s. A cluster- wide system upgrade to nVidia's upcoming FERMI architecture (Tesla C2050) is scheduled for 2Q 2010. The interconnection capabilities of CORA include Gigabit Ethernet and high performance QDR Infiniband.

In total the CORA GPU cluster comprises 72 CPU- cores, 1920 GPU- cores and an aggregated system memory of 216GB. The scheduled GPU upgrade will raise the possible number of total GPU- cores to approx. 5500. The available disk space will be upgraded in Q2 2010 to 128 TBytes. CORA has been put into service in February 2010.

CELLINE: IBM PowerXCell 8i System

CELLINE comprises four IBM BladeCenter QS22 and one IBM BladeCenter LS22 that are mounted in an IBM BladeCenter H Chassis. Interconnection capabilities of CELLINE include Gigabit Ethernet and InfiniBand.

Each QS22 comprises two processors of the type IBM PowerXCell 8i (3.2GHz/ 1MB L2). The IBM PowerXCell 8i processor is based on Cell/B.E. architecture, but it provides five times the double precision performance of the Cell/B.E. processor. Each QS22 comprises 32GB DDR2 memory. The LS22 comprises two processors of the type Quad Core AMD Opteron 2356 (2.3GHz/ 2MB L2) and 32GB DDR2 memory.

In total CELLINE comprises 160GB DDR2 memory and provides about 1TeraFlop/s of Double-Precision performance. CELLINE has been put into service in December 2008.

LUNA: Sun Cluster

The cluster LUNA consists of 72 Sun Fire X4100 servers with two Dual-Core AMD Opteron 275 processors and 8 GB of memory. That's a total of 288 cores and 576 GB of RAM. The 72 nodes are connected to each other both by a Ethernet network and a high-speed Infiniband connection.

Power consumption of the complete cluster is about 45 kW, and each of the three racks weighs about 800kg. The cluster runs the Solaris 10 x86 operating system and Sun Grid Engine for job administration. It has been put into service in November 2006. Further information can be found at http://luna.cs.univie.ac.at/.

AURORA: Linux Cluster

The cluster AURORA consists of 72 IBM x335 nodes, each with two Pentium IV Nocona 3.6 GHz processors and 4 GB of memory. In total it comprises 144 processors and 288 GB of RAM. The 72 nodes are interconnected by an Ethernet network and a high-speed Infiniband connection. The Red Hat Linux is used as operating system. This cluster has been purchased in the context of the AURORA project (1997-2007). The AURORA project, which has been led by our Institute, was an interdisciplinary project that involved several institutes from the University of Vienna and the Vienna University of Technology. The cluster is administered by the staff of our Institute, but it is located at the Vienna University of Technology. It has been put into service in April 2005. Further information can be found at http://aurora.tuwien.ac.at/.

Sony Playstation 3

A mini-cluster of four Sony Playstation 3 consoles is used both as an affordable means for students to learn programming on the IBM Cell Broadband Endgine (as used in Roadrunner, the world's first petaflop/s system), but also contributes to the Folding@home project, which is a distributed computing project studying protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases.

General-Purpose computation on GPU (GPGPU)

NADIA comprises two Intel Xeon X5550 Quad-Core processors with 24GB DDR3-1333 memory. Additionally NADIA is equiped with an NVIDIA CUDA enabled GeForce GTX 480, GTX 285 and an ATI Radeon 5870 GPU.

The Nvida GTX 480 GPU provides: 480 processor cores, 1536 MB GDDR5 device memory with bandwith of 177GB/s, 364-bit memory bus, 700MHz core frequency and 1400MHz unified processor frequency.
The Nvida GTX 285 GPU provides: 240 processor cores, 1GB GDDR3 device memory with bandwith of 159GB/s, 512-bit memory bus with 8 independent controllers, 648MHz core frequency and 1476MHz unified processor frequency.
The ATI Radeon HD5870 provides: 1600 stream processing units, GDDR5 interface with 153.6 GB/sec memory bandwidth and a single-precision peak performance of 2.72 TeraFLOPS. The system runs x86_64 Linux (RHEL).

Sun Fire V40z

The Sun Fire V40z server provides high versatility in a small footprint (3 rack units). Our machine features 4 AMD Opteron 875 Dual-Core processors with 2.2 GHz and 1 MB Level 2 cache per core. The CPUs are connected to each other by a 1 GHz HyperTransport link. Memory size is 24 GB, and disk storage is provided by 5 Ultra320 SCSI disks with 300 GB each, for a total of 1.5 TB. The system runs Solaris 10 x86.

Sun Fire X4600 M2

The Sun Fire X4600 M2 server is a compact (4 rack units), energy-efficient system. Our machine houses 8 AMD Opteron 8218 Dual-Core processors with 2.6 GHz, for a total of 16 cores, each with 1 MB Level 2 cache. CPUs are connected to each other by a HyperTransport link running at 8 GB/seconds.

It includes 32GB of main memory and two SAS (serial attached SCSI) harddisks. Electrical power is provided by four hot-swappable power supplies, redundant in 2+2 configuration, with 850W each. Operating System is Solaris 10 x86.

Sun Fire X4500

The Sun Fire X4500 combines a powerful four-core x64 server with up to 24 TB of storage in a compact format (4 rack units). It features 2 AMD Opteron 285 Dual-Core processors with 2.6 GHz and 16 GB of main memory. The 48 3.5-inch SATA II disks with 500 GB each make up for a total of 24 TB of raw disk space. Power consumption is 1800W, provided by dual redundant power supplies. The machine runs Solaris 10 x86 and makes use of Software RAID implemented by the Solaris ZFS file system.

Sun Fire T2000

The Sun Fire T2000 is optimized to provide the best performance and throughput with reduced power consumption and rack space. It uses Sun's UltraSparc T1 processor with CoolThreads technology. The 1 GHz CPU in our machine has 6 cores with four threads per core and 8 GB of RAM. Typical operating power is 275W.

Sun Fire T5140

The Sun Fire T5140 uses Sun's 3rd generation CoolThreads technology with the highest compute density ever: 128 compute threads in just one rack unit. Our machine has two UltraSparc T2 processors running at 1.2GHz, each with 8 cores capable of running 8 threads in parallel, plus one dedicated FPU per core. Memory size is 32GB.


The GridLab consists of 15 desktop machines and various small servers with AMD Opteron Dual-Core and Intel Quad-Core processors. All machines run Fedora Core Linux. The GridLab is used by students and researchers both for teaching (e.g. KFK Grid Computing) and experimentation purposes.

Scientific Computing

Faculty of Computer Science
University of Vienna
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