Home Tech Do you want to buy a decommissioned supercomputer? This is your chance

Do you want to buy a decommissioned supercomputer? This is your chance

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 Do you want to buy a decommissioned supercomputer? This is your chance

On Tuesday, the US General Services Administration began an auction for the dismantled cheyenne supercomputer, located in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The 5.34 petaflop supercomputer was ranked as the twentieth most powerful in the world at the time of its installation in 2016. Bidding started at $2,500, but its price is currently $270,085.

The supercomputer, which officially operated between January 12, 2017 and December 31, 2023, in the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing CenterIt was a powerful (and once considered energy efficient) system that significantly advanced atmospheric and Earth system science research.

“Over its lifetime, Cheyenne delivered more than 7 billion core hours, served more than 4,400 users, and supported nearly 1,300 NSF awards,” writes the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) on its official Cheyenne website. . information page. “She played a key role in education, supporting more than 80 university courses and training events. Nearly 1,000 projects were awarded to graduate students and early-career postdocs. Perhaps most tellingly, the research pioneered by Cheyenne generated more than 4,500 peer-reviewed publications, dissertations and theses and other works.”

UCAR says Cheynne was originally scheduled to be replaced after five years, but the Covid-19 pandemic severely disrupted supply chains and saw two years added to its service period. The auction page says Cheyenne recently experienced maintenance limitations due to faulty quick disconnects in its cooling system. As a result, approximately 1 percent of compute nodes failed, primarily due to ECC errors in DIMMs. Given the expense and downtime associated with repairs, the decision was made to auction off the components.

With a maximum performance of 5,340 teraflops (4,788 linen package teraflops), this SGI ICE XA The system was capable of performing more than 3 billion calculations per second for every watt of energy consumed, making it three times more energy efficient than its predecessor. yellow stone. The system featured 4,032 dual-socket nodes, each with two 18-core 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon E5-2697v4 processors, for a total of 145,152 CPU cores. It also included 313 TB of memory and 40 petabytes of storage. The entire system in operation consumed about 1.7 megawatts of energy.

Just to compare, the world top rated supercomputer at the moment-Border at Oak Ridge National Labs in Tennessee – features a theoretical maximum performance of 1,679.82 petaflops, includes 8,699,904 CPU cores, and uses 22.7 megawatts of power.

The GSA notes that potential Cheyenne buyers should keep in mind that professional moving companies with the proper equipment will be needed to handle the heavy frames and components. The auction includes seven pairs of E-Cells (14 in total), each with a cooling distribution unit (CDU). Each E-Cell weighs approximately 1500 pounds. Additionally, the auction features two air-cooled Cheyenne Management Racks, each weighing 2,500 pounds, containing servers, switches and power units.

At the time of writing, 23 potential buyers have bid on this computing monster so far. Auction closes May 3rd at 6:11 pm central time if you are interested in bidding. But don’t get too excited about the photos of the extensive cabling: as the auction site notes, “fiber optic and CAT5/6 cabling is excluded from the resale package.”

This story originally appeared on Ars Technique.

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