Super Computing @ QUB
Since the late 1950’s Queen's has provided significant computing power to support local research.
The Parallel Computer Centre, established in 1990 with funding from JISC, encouraged the inclusion of HPC methods into the teaching curriculum and supported research groups. That funding enabled the purchase of a small Cray YMP EL system – the first in Europe and a small SGI cluster.
In 1996 Queen's supplemented a JREI funding award to the Theoretical Physics Group to enable a joint purchase with Trinity College Dublin of an IBM SP2 system forming the Centre for Supercomputing in Ireland. A subsequent round of funding in 2001 resulted in the purchase of an HP UX based system. This was later expanded by funding supplied by Queen's Aeronautical Engineering Department.
The next cluster installed at Queen's was a HP XC Itanium cluster in 2006. The funding for this came from the Computer Science department under a DEL scheme. A SGI Altix with onboard FPGA onboard was also installed at this time.
Following this, the next cluster was built on a Dell XC architecture and purchased using Queen's internal funding.
The Dell cluster was succeeded in 2015 by a cluster, named kelvin. This was funded by the Centre of Experimental Medicine at Queen's. Kelvin was a scalable High Performance Computing (HPC) and Research Data Storage environment. The HPC cluster comprised of 57 compute nodes running Linux and connected together with an InfiniBand fabric. The compute nodes ranged in memory sizes from 128GB to 1.5TB and were powered by Intel Haswell generation processors. Coupled to the HPC cluster was a 2 Petabyte usable multi-tier storage system, delivering a blend of scalable, high-performance, POSIX compatible file storage with replication to a secondary site. For GPU support Kelvin hosted 4 NVIDIA Tesla v100s.
In August 2020 Kelvin made way for Kelvin2.