Wish to Purchase a Decommissioned Supercomputer? Right here’s Your Likelihood

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On Tuesday, the US Basic Providers Administration started an public sale for the decommissioned Cheyenne supercomputer, positioned in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The 5.34-petaflop supercomputer ranked because the twentieth strongest on this planet on the time of its set up in 2016. Bidding began at $2,500, however its worth is at the moment $270,085.The supercomputer, which formally operated between January 12, 2017, and December 31, 2023, on the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Middle, was a robust (and as soon as thought-about energy-efficient) system that considerably superior atmospheric and Earth system sciences analysis.”In its lifetime, Cheyenne delivered over 7 billion core-hours, served over 4,400 customers, and supported practically 1,300 NSF awards,” writes the College Company for Atmospheric Analysis (UCAR) on its official Cheyenne data web page. It performed a key function in schooling, supporting greater than 80 college programs and coaching occasions. Almost 1,000 initiatives had been awarded for early-career graduate college students and postdocs. Maybe most tellingly, Cheyenne-powered analysis generated over 4,500 peer-review publications, dissertations and theses, and different works.”UCAR says that Cheynne was initially slated to get replaced after 5 years, however the Covid-19 pandemic severely disrupted provide chains, and it clocked in two further years in its tour of responsibility. The public sale web page says that Cheyenne lately skilled upkeep limitations as a consequence of defective fast disconnects in its cooling system. Consequently, roughly 1 % of the compute nodes have failed, primarily as a consequence of ECC errors within the DIMMs. Given the expense and downtime related to repairs, the choice was made to public sale off the elements.With a peak efficiency of 5,340 teraflops (4,788 Linpack teraflops), this SGI ICE XA system was able to performing greater than 3 billion calculations per second for each watt of vitality consumed, making it thrice extra energy-efficient than its predecessor, Yellowstone. The system featured 4,032 dual-socket nodes, every with two 18-core, 2.3-GHz Intel Xeon E5-2697v4 processors, for a complete of 145,152 CPU cores. It additionally included 313 TB of reminiscence and 40 petabytes of storage. All the system in operation consumed about 1.7 megawatts of energy.Simply to check, the world’s top-rated supercomputer in the intervening time—Frontier at Oak Ridge Nationwide Labs in Tennessee—contains a theoretical peak efficiency of 1,679.82 petaflops, consists of 8,699,904 CPU cores, and makes use of 22.7 megawatts of energy.The GSA notes that potential consumers of Cheyenne must be conscious that skilled movers with applicable tools might be required to deal with the heavy racks and elements. The public sale consists of seven E-Cell pairs (14 complete), every with a cooling distribution unit (CDU). Every E-Cell weighs roughly 1,500 kilos. Moreover, the public sale options two air-cooled Cheyenne Administration Racks, every weighing 2,500 kilos, that include servers, switches, and energy items.As of this writing, 23 potential consumers have bid on this computing monster thus far. The public sale closes on Could 3 at 6:11 pm Central Time should you’re thinking about bidding. However do not get too excited by pictures of the in depth cabling: Because the public sale web site notes, “fiber optic and CAT5/6 cabling are excluded from the resale bundle.”This story initially appeared on Ars Technica.

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