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Historic Defense Department purchase upgrades supercomputing capabilities

VICKSBURG and HANCOCK COUNTY — The Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program (DOD HPCMP) has just completed its largest one-time investment in supercomputing capability.

The total acquisition is valued at $105 million, and includes $80 million for multiple systems along with an additional $25 million in hardware and software maintenance services. This would more than double the DOD HPCMP’s current sustained computing capability.

“This latest acquisition will provide significant capability for DOD scientists and engineers to stretch the boundaries of scientific discovery, expand engineering capabilities and accelerate the delivery of new technologies to the defense communities,” said John West, director of the HPCMP.

The HPCMP is managed on behalf of the DOD by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg.

The purchase includes seven systems that will collectively provide over 225,000 cores, over 520 gigabytes of memory and a total storage capacity of 23 petabytes. Each system is scheduled to be fully accepted and operational by the end of the calendar year.

The supercomputers will be installed at five DOD Supercomputing Resource Centers (DSRCs), including two in Mississippi. The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) DSRC in Vicksburg will receive upgrades from Cray Inc. It will upgrade three existing Cray XE6 systems within the HPCMP by doubling the processor count and combining the three systems into a single system totaling 162,796 compute cores and 305 terabytes of memory.

The Navy DSRC, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, located at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County will receive two IBM iDataPlex systems built upon Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor. These two systems are identical, each consisting of 18,816 compute cores and 37 terabytes of memory. The systems are designed as sister-systems to provide continuous service during maintenance outages.  There is also a third smaller IBM iDataPlex system for the Navy DSRC that will have 4,032 compute cores and 8 terabytes of memory.

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