Computer Facilites for Support of Computational Engineering
The computer facilities at Old Dominion University includes a wide set of capabilities that range from workstations to high performance parallel computers to state-of-the-art 3-D visualization environments. These facilities are coupled by a high-speed (100 Mb/sec) network. Many of these facilities are housed in the recently built Engineering & Computational Sciences Building (ECSB). Many of the faculty that work in the area of computational science have offices and laboratories in this
building which creates a synergetic research environment.
The high performance environment is anchored by several parallel computers managed by
the Office of Computing and Communication Services. These machines include:
- 96 node cluster environment, 64 and 30 node parallel configurations (SUN Fire V20z), Linux OS
- 32 cluster nodes (SUN Fire V20z), Linux OS
- 64 node SMP (SUN Enterprise 10000), Solaris OS
- 8 node SMP (SUN Enterprise 3500), Solaris OS
- 8 node SMP (SUN Enterprize 2900), Solaris OS
- 32 node workstation environment (PC hardware), Linux OS
In addition to the above systems, there are several smaller cluster systems that are maintained by various faculty and staff to support research.
This computing environment is supported by data storage system (over 14 TB of on-line storage)
- a large, high-speed disk space (scratch) to support executing jobs;
- a 3-tier file storage system
- tier 1: fiber channel disk "cache" for highest speed access
- tier 2: large disk farm for short term storage
- tier 3: a tape system for long term storage
Interaction with the high performance computers and vizualization environment is supported by a large number of workstations. The majority of the workstations are high speed PCs running Microsoft and Linux operating systems. Appropriate compilers and other software provide an environment for executing engineering software directly on these machines to support the teaching and research goals of ODU. Also software is available to access the high performance computers in a secure manner. The workstation environment also includes a number of Unix workstations---mainly, PCs running Linux and some Sun systems. These workstations are distributed throughout ECSB and other building where Computational Engineering faculty and student are located. In addition to systems located in faculty and graduate student offices, there are a number of computing laboratories that provide workstation access for other Computational Engineering students.
Visualization is an important part of Computational Engineering. Much of this demand is met by the workstation environment along with appropriate software. OCCS maintains plotting facilities to support additional visualization needs. VMASC also maintains a CAVE System where high-performance 3-D requirements can be met. The Center for Advanced Engineering Environments is conducting research in 3-D visualization using a Power Wall Virtual Reality System.
The Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) is a multi-disciplinary modeling, simulation and visualization collaborative research center managed through the Batten College of Engineering and Technology at Old Dominion University. VMASC maintains a number of computing systems, both in ECSB as well as in their Suffolk facility.