The Department of Scientific Computing (DSC) plays a major role in the support of FSU's cyberinfrastructure by providing facilities and technical expertise in the support of scientific computing. The DSC manages two leading edge computing facilities for FSU; the DSC computing facility (located on the main FSU campus in Dirac Science Library) and the FSU shared-HPC facility (located at Innovation Park in the Sliger Building). Both facilities foster nationally recognized research programs, which span multiple disciplines and are maintained by a combination of university and external funding. The DSC facility provides a highly flexible computing environment designed to support specialized and experimental hardware and software systems; while the shared-HPC supports a relatively homogeneous and highly optimized production-based computing system.
DSC Computing Facility
The DSC facility supports an aggregate of over 1000 CPUs representing an assortment of computer architectures, interconnects, and operating systems. Systems hosted in the DSC facility are owned by DSC and non-DSC research groups and are dedicated to a wide range of research problems including; molecular biophysics, evolutionary biology, network modeling, and Monte-Carlo algorithm development. The DSC facility is equipped with two 40- ton HVAC cooling units, 1000 ft2 of raised floor, an extensive power distribution system, two large-format PowerWare UPS battery backup systems, and a 550 KVA diesel-powered backup generator, which provides backup power to all of the hardware and HVACs in this room. The DSC network is built on a 10 Gbps Cisco backbone, providing connectivity to a switching infrastructure and to key servers and storage. The DSC network connects to the 10 Gbps FSU campus backbone via 1 and 10 Gbps uplinks, which in turn connect to the 10 Gbps Florida LamdaRail.
The DSC also manages FSU's shared High-Performance Computing facility for multidisciplinary research. computing and data storage resources well suited for distributed and shared memory parallel computations, high throughput computing for serial computations, interactive and remote visualization, and web-based science portals and databases. Taken together HPC provides over 74.2 TeraFlops of peak performance on over 6800 cpu cores. The shared-HPC facility also supports several high-end GPU devices for CUDA- and openCL-based computations. Our diverse computing systems are bound together by two parallel data storage systems and a common user authentication mechanism. FSU's shared-HPC facility is housed in two robust data center with an environmental and electrical infrastructure designed to accommodate current and future computing requirements. The HPC network infrastructure is connected to FSU’s 10 Gbps campus network backbone and to the 10 Gbps Florida Lambda Rail.
The DSC supports supports a general access laboratory for scientific visualization. The laboratory is located in the center of the main FSU campus on the fourth-floor of the Dirac Science Library (DSC). The Visualization Laboratory hosts five high-end visualization workstations each equipped with NVIDIA GPU video cards that are compatible with the CUDA SDK. One workstation is equipped with software and emitters for 3D stereographic visualization. All workstations have access to over 15 TB of shared high performance storage.
The University visualization resources also include a high-resolution stereographic projection system, funded by the National Science Foundation, to support multidisciplinary scientific visualization. The system is located in an 80-person seminar room adjacent to the Visualization Lab. Four state of the art rear-mounted projectors illuminate an 18' x 8' screen. The system switches between 2D and 3D mode with a touch of a button and also supports numerous other input devices (e.g., a document camera, DVD/VHS player, cable TV, and two hookups for personal laptops) via a simple to use touch panel screen.
General DSC Infrastructure
The DSC provides office space to DSC faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and other DSC associated support personnel. In addition, designated visitor offices are available. All offices are equipped with a desktop computer and at least two network connections; wireless is available throughout campus. The department of Scientific Compting supports a one-of-a-kind classroom facility on the campus of FSU to support 3D immersive visualization and game design. The classroom was funded in part by a Student Technology fee award for instructional technology enhancements and with generous support from Dell, Inc. The room is equipped with 19 Intel-based workstations running LINUX and Microsoft Windows XP and is used primarily for classes taught by DSC faculty. In addition to the computer classroom, a large seminar room is located on the fourth floor with a capacity for 80 people and is equipped with a state of the state-of-the-art 3d rear-mounted projection system. Two smaller conference rooms equipped with projection equipment can accommodate smaller groups. The DSC also manages approximately 30 servers for core network services using primarily generic Intel-compatible servers running CentOS (a free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux).
The Department of Scientific Computing is a registered node in the Access Grid (AGTK 3.1 compatible) (see http://www.accessgrid.org/node/1785). The Access Grid permits group-to-group communication over the Internet by allowing a rich assortment of visual media support including large format displays and many presentation and interactive environments. In addition to a fixed Access Grid installation in the department’s main seminar room, Scientific Computing also maintains perminant video conferencing systems department's main computer classroom.