How NASA attains greater accuracy and rapid data insights with a next-gen supercomputer



Having outgrown its current High Performance Computing (HPC) data center, NASA Ames’ NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division began the buildout of a large petascale system called Aitken, its next flagship supercomputer, using a containerized architecture with 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors. The new Intel processors will allow scientists to accomplish research not possible on existing machines, such as running models longer and getting faster turnaround on detailed simulation results. The modular computing design process involved prototyping a new approach with container-based computing systems using a prototype cluster called Electra. The new design takes advantage of the performance and scalability of the 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Gold 6248 processors and the local temperate climate to cool the systems. The new data center space now houses containers with Electra and the early stages of Aitken, which will be expanded over the next several years.