CITA played a major role in all stages of planning and preparing for the $30M SciNet installation at the University of Toronto under the National Platforms Fund (NPF). SciNet is a supercomputing centre in Toronto which operates a 306 TeraFlop General Purpose Cluster, and much more specialised Tightly Coupled System at 60 TeraFlops. CITA's experience with networking, installing, operating and fine-tuning large clusters has been critical to the success of the SciNet effort. Several computationally-intensive studies made possible with Scinet are highlighted at the Computational Astrophysics research page.
CITA operates the Sunnyvale cluster, a 1600 core computing facility, with a theoretical peak speed of 20 TeraFlops in single precision. This cluster is critical for new, large-scale gas and N-body simulations related to planetary formation as well as highly CPU-intensive analysis of extremely large data sets from the upcoming ACT, Spider and Planck missions.
CITA also maintains a large storage system providing 200TB of space available to faculty, postdocs, and graduate students for simulation and data analysis. In addition to the large data storage system available, CITA provides a few large memory systems to facilitate data analysis and visualization. The institute is connected to the University of Toronto network backbone via a 1 Gigabit connection, allowing fast data transfer with such supercomputer centres as the SciNet Consortium, in addition to other centres in Canada and around the world.
In addition to HPC equipment, CITA maintains roughly 60 Linux workstations for faculty, postdocs and students as well as 5 windows machines for staff. A dozen servers are used to run critical services like a firewall, gateway for remote access, mail and web services, wireless access, printing and centralized home disks. Network-attached storage units provide roughly 15TB of disk space and two 50-slot LTO tape libraries is used for backups of critical systems (some stored off-site) and user spaces.
[ Back to CITA Annual Report 2010 ]