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NEMO Hardware Extension

NEMO was extended from 756 to 900 compute nodes. Its 18000 compute cores offer a nominal performance of 626 TFlops. Additionally, the parallel file system for storage of intermediate job data now holds 0.75 Petabyte.

In the second week of October, NEMO received its final hardware extension – for the time being. The hardware extension consists of 152 new compute nodes, including 66 nodes of new shareholders. The new nodes have the exact same hardware specification as the original NEMO nodes. Since the inauguration in August 2016, we had evaluated the idea of extending NEMO with Xeon Phi processors. However, given the feedback from our communities, the NEMO advisory board and the results of our own tests, we concluded that a conventional extension was the better and preferred alternative. In retrospect, this turned out to be a good decision, since Intel canceled the successor to the Xeon Phi just a few days ago.

The upgraded NEMO has a total of 900 compute nodes, 18000 cores and 115 Terabytes total working memory. Linear extrapolation shows that the upgraded NEMO would still have made it into the Top500 list of supercomputers as of November 2017. With 626 TFlops of compute performance, NEMO would have been 429 on the Top500 list. Please note that is just an interesting projection - in reality, we chose not to waste several days of NEMO production time to run the required benchmarks. 

In addition to the increased number of nodes, the SSD drives in the nodes were upgraded into improved datacenter grade drives to better accommodate the usage profiles we have seen in the past year that NEMO has been in operation. The original drives will still be useful for jobs with extra requirements regarding storage of temporary files.

Last but not least, the parallel BeeGFS storage has been increased by 33% to offer 0,75 Petabyte.