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Office of the Vice President for Information Technology and CIO

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Office of the Vice President for Information Technology and CIO

Last modified: Monday, November 14, 2011

IU moves fast and thinks big at annual supercomputing conference

Nov. 14, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., and SEATTLE, Wash. -- Indiana University during SC11 this year will demonstrate the many ways its information technology experts have advanced the future of high performance computing.

The annual International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis is the largest event of its kind, bringing together leading scientists and researchers from around the globe, as well as representatives from top universities, companies and organizations in the supercomputing field. This year the event, SC11, takes place Nov. 12-18 in Seattle, Wash.

"IU has used the power of world-class computing systems, networks and software tools to support and develop a wide range of cutting-edge research initiatives," said Craig Stewart, executive director of IU's Pervasive Technology Institute and associate dean of Research Technologies. "Our SC11 display will highlight a broad spectrum of these groundbreaking innovations, demonstrating supercomputing's potential to create research breakthroughs."

The IU team has taken a leadership role in many aspects of SC11, with staff members serving on the event's planning committee. Additionally, IU network engineers will help set up and support SCinet, a leading-edge network equipped with OpenFlow-capable switches from vendors such as IBM. SCinet will address the high-performance computing, storage and networking needs of all SC11 exhibitors and attendees.

The university also has a leading or partnering role on three of the 10 submissions to the SC11 SCinet Research Sandbox and will host demonstrations for a fourth submission in its booth. SCinet Research Sandbox is a joint effort with the SC11 Technical Program to let researchers with innovative network approaches experimentally test their ideas in the unique environment of the SCinet networks.

IU's Pervasive Technology Institute and Global Research Network Operations Center, or GlobalNOC, will host the "Moving Fast, Thinking Big" exhibit, where visitors can engage in a variety of interactive demonstrations, including:

  • FutureGrid
  • Performance study of a molecular dynamics code using the Vampir Toolchain
  • GlobalNOC Worldview
  • ParalleX: Paradigm shifts in parallel computing
  • FlowScale: Highly scalable load balancing using OpenFlow

Visitors will also have a chance to see IU's Sandbox entry in action. The IU team will present "The Data Superconductor: An HPC cloud using data-intensive scientific applications, Lustre-WAN and OpenFlow over 100Gb Ethernet" in booth 2239. Demonstrations will take place at the following times:

  • Enabling Scientific Discovery With Application-Driven Networks: 8 p.m. Monday; 4 and 4:30 p.m. Tuesday; 11 and 11:30 a.m. and 5 and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday; and 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
  • Wide Area Lustre: Cross-country file systems at 100Gb/s: 8:10 p.m. Monday; 4:10 and 4:40 p.m. Tuesday; 11:10 and 11:40 a.m. and 5:10 and 5:40 p.m. Wednesday; and 12:40 p.m. Thursday.
  • Utilizing Centralized Storage for High Bandwidth Application Workflows: 8:20 p.m. Monday; 4:20 and 4:50 p.m. Tuesday; 11:20 and 11:50 a.m. and 5:20 and 5:50 p.m. Wednesday; and 12:50 p.m. Thursday.

Internet2, a key collaborator on IU's Sandbox entry, contributed a 100GbE circuit between Indianapolis and Chicago, as well as the optical system that brings that traffic to Seattle at 100Gb. In addition, Brocade contributed MLXe Ethernet routers equipped with 100GbE blades and a 15.36Tbps fabric for increased performance with less infrastructure and operational overhead. The 100GbE blades will let IU aggregate multiple ports to create a single logical link for greater bandwidth and reduced management.

IBM, Brocade, Ciena, DataDirect Networks and Whamcloud provided support for IU's SC11 demonstrations. For more information about SC11, visit

About Pervasive Technology Institute

Pervasive Technology Institute at Indiana University is a world-class organization dedicated to the development and delivery of innovative information technology to advance research, education, industry and society. Supported in part by a $15 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, PTI is built upon a spirit of collaboration and brings together researchers and technologists from a range of disciplines and organizations, including the IU School of Informatics and Computing at Bloomington, the IU Maurer School of Law, and University Information Technology Services at Indiana University. For more information about PTI, visit

About GlobalNOC

The Global Research Network Operations Center at Indiana University is the premier operations and engineering organization supporting advanced international, national, regional and local high-performance research and education networks. GlobalNOC plays a major role in transforming the face of digital science, research and education in Indiana, the U.S. and the world by providing unparalleled network operations and engineering needed for reliable and cost-effective access to specialized facilities for research and education. For more information about GlobalNOC, visit