MSI’s Newest Supercomputing System, Agate, Has Been Selected

Agate, the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute’s newest supercomputer, is a Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) cluster. Delivery is expected to begin in August 2021, with the cluster available to Minnesota researchers in the fall.

Agate’s theoretical performance is approximately 7 quadrillion floating point operations per second (7 petaflops), of which 2 petaflops are provided by the cluster's general-purpose processors, and 5 petaflops by the GPU subsystem. The Agate cluster will contain a total of 416 nodes. “The mix of CPUs, GPUs, large memory nodes and high performance storage, which goes into the configuration of MSI’s new supercomputing system, came from many hours of planning and consulting with our faculty,” said Jim Wilgenbusch, Director of Research Computing.

One unique feature of the new Agate cluster is provision of an additional 80 NVIDA A40 single-precision GPUs, to further support interactive applications with server-side GPU rendering, and interactive machine-learning workloads via command line and JupyterHub.

Between now and Agate’s delivery, MSI will also be upgrading the capacity and performance of its cluster storage systems. We plan to bring in well over 10 Petabytes of raw storage and are starting with updating the existing Panasas parallel storage system to next-generation Panasas Ultra hardware.

The new cluster’s name, Agate, was selected by MSI staff from a pool of names submitted by 133 people. Lake Superior agate is the Minnesota State Gemstone.

More detailed information about Agate can be found on the system webpage. This page will be updated as we move through the delivery, installation, and testing process.