Pittsburgh And Stuttgart Inaugurate High-Speed Transatlantic Metacomputing

June 24, 1997

PITTSBURGH -- On June 20, researchers at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the University of Stuttgart, Germany, linked supercomputers on both sides of the Atlantic via high-speed research networks. This is the first time that high-speed telecommunications networks, such as the very high speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS), have been used for transatlantic metacomputing.

Intended as a prototype for international high-performance networking, the project couples Pittsburgh's 512-processor CRAY T3E with another 512-processor T3E at the High Performance Computing Center in Stuttgart (RUS). Linking two or more supercomputers at different locations in this manner, for work on the same computing task, is known as "metacomputing." The Pittsburgh-Stuttgart link creates a virtual system of 1024 processors with a theoretical peak performance of 675 billion calculations a second.

"There are many large-scale research problems," said Ralph Roskies and Michael Levine, co-scientific directors of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, "such as modeling global climate, simulating automobile crashes with people inside and the design of new drug therapies, that demand the expanded capability potentially available through metacomputing. Our center has been at the forefront of this work for some time, and our collaboration with Stuttgart is an important step toward proving the viability of this concept."

The PSC-RUS team is using the coupled system to run flow simulation software, called URANUS, that predicts aerodynamic forces and high temperatures acting on space vehicles when they reenter Earth's atmosphere. To date, the researchers have used up to 64 processors simultaneously on both T3E systems.

PSC computational scientists Bruce Loftis and Raghurama Reddy collaborated with an RUS group, led by Michael Resch, for about a year to develop and test software that allows the two T3Es to work together on the same problem. "This is a highly complex programming task," said Loftis, "and what we've accomplished is a starting point for further work."

The project relies on a series of research networks to create a high-speed transatlantic link between the two centers. Such networks, established during the past few years, allow information to move up to 100 times faster than on the Internet. The vBNS, for example, which connects U.S. supercomputing centers, currently transmits at speeds up to 622 million bits per second, fast enough to transfer the complete Encyclopedia Britannica in less than 10 seconds.

The Pittsburgh to Stuttgart connection goes from PSC via vBNS to STAR TAP, a National Science Foundation project that provides a U.S. interconnection point for high-speed networking with research institutions worldwide. Two Canadian networks provide the key intermediary links between the U.S. and Germany. STAR TAP connects to the Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research, Industry and Education (CANARIE), which in turn connects to Teleglobe, a transatlantic link, that connects to Deutsche Telekom AG (DTAG), the German research network, that connects to RUS. "Today's successful T3E-to-T3E connection culminates months of hard work at PSC, RUS, MCI, STAR TAP, CANARIE, Teleglobe Canada and DTAG," said PSC parallel applications manager Sergiu Sanielevici.

"The key to metacomputing, now and in the future," said Wendy Huntoon, PSC networking manager, "is very high bandwidth networking such as vBNS. This project shows that we now have in place the networking capability to collaborate effectively with the European community, a long awaited step."

In the next few months, the Pittsburgh-Stuttgart team will expand their metacomputing project to include a third supercomputer, an Intel Paragon at Sandia National Laboratory.
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with Westinghouse Electric Corp. It was established in 1986 and is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry.

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

Related Supercomputers Articles from Brightsurf:

Blue whirl flame structure revealed with supercomputers
Main structure and flow structure of 'blue whirl' flame revealed through supercomputer simulations.

Hungry galaxies grow fat on the flesh of their neighbours
Galaxies grow large by eating their smaller neighbours, new research reveals.

Supercomputers and Archimedes' law enable calculating nanobubble diffusion in nuclear fuel
Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have proposed a method that speeds up the calculation of nanobubble diffusion in solid materials.

Dissecting the mechanism of protein unfolding by SDS
A new study by the Aksimentiev group at the University of Illinois has used molecular dynamics simulations to understand how sodium dodecyl sulfate, a commonly used detergent in labs, induces protein folding.

Supercomputers unlock reproductive mysteries of viruses and life
Supercomputer simulations support a new mechanism for the budding off of viruses like the coronavirus.

Supercomputers drive ion transport research
Kinetics of solute transport through nanoporous membranes captured through supercomputer simulations.

Supercomputers use graphics processors to solve longstanding turbulence question
Advanced simulations have solved a problem in turbulent fluid flow that could lead to more efficient turbines and engines.

Novel software to balance data processing load in supercomputers to be presented
The team will present its research in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the 33rd International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium on May 22, 2019.

Supercomputers help supercharge protein assembly
Using proteins derived from jellyfish, scientists assembled a complex sixteen protein structure composed of two stacked octamers by supercharging alone.

Physicists use supercomputers to solve 50-year-old beta decay puzzle
Beta decay plays an indispensable role in the universe. And for 50 years it has held onto a secret that puzzled nuclear physicists.

Read More: Supercomputers News and Supercomputers Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.