Decommissioned: General Purpose Cluster (GPC)

November 9, 2016 in Decommissioned Systems


The General Purpose Cluster (GPC) is our extremely large “workhorse” cluster (ranked 16th in the world at its inception, then the fastest in Canada) and is where most computations are done at SciNet – it has already performed more than 45,000,000 computations for Canadian researchers.  It is an IBM iDataPlex cluster based on Intel’s Nehalem architecture (one of the first in the world to make use of the new chips).

The GPC consists of 3,780 nodes (IBM iDataPlex DX360M2) with a total of 30,240 cores (Intel Xeon E5540) at 2.53GHz, with 16GB RAM per node (2GB per core) with some larger-memory nodes up to 32GB.   The nodes run Linux.   Approximately one quarter of the cluster is connected with non-blocking DDR InfiniBand while the rest of the nodes are connected with 5:1 blocked QDR InfiniBand. The compute nodes are accessed through a queuing system that allows jobs with a maximum wall time of 48 hours and a minimum time, in the batch queue, of 15 minutes.

A “quickstart” guide to using SciNet’s GPC can be found on our technical documentation wiki.