Facilities Description for Research Proposal

We provide the following detailed description for research proposal. These descriptions will be updated to the latest capacities and performance metrics of Palmetto and other advanced computing resources at Clemson University. Depending on specific proposal solicitation, faculty can freely selection which section to include. At a minium, we recommend the inclusion of Section 1 and 2.

1. Cyberinfrastructure Technology Integration (CITI)

Cyberinfrastructure Technology Integration (CITI) is a centrally funded support organization inside Clemson Computing and Information Technology (CCIT). CITI provides general and advanced research computing support, training, and outreach. CITI faculty and technical staff are a highly successful group of research scientists who lead research in areas such as high performance computing applications, high throughput computing, high performance networking, data access and interpretation, visualization, social and biological sciences, humanities computing, and software environments for cyber-communities.

2. High Performance Computing – Palmetto Cluster

Clemson’s high performance computing resources includes a “condominium” style cluster, known as Palmetto, developed to serve the university’s wide-ranging research needs. Designed and deployed by Clemson Computing and Information Technology's Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) group in collaboration with faculty researchers across theuniversity, Palmetto provides a shared platform that optimizes resources for the benefit of all users. Named for South Carolina’s state tree, the Palmetto Cluster was designed to suit many different research applications, with a large number of powerful multi-core nodes, each with a significant amount of memory. Ranked #392 in the world (TOP500 list, November 2019), the system currently benchmarks at 1.4 Petaflops using 44,016 cores. The minimum memory per node is 12GB, with more than 400 nodes with 64GB of RAM or more. This system also contains 360 TB of large-scale, high performance disk storage and is housed at Clemson’s Information Technology Center in a 24/7 monitored environment with proper power, cooling and physical security. In recent years, all of Palmetto’s new node acquisitions come with the new Intel Sandy Bridge cores resulting in double the floating point performance per core. Each of the new nodes is connected via 56Gbps Mellanox Infiniband and has 64GB of RAM. Of these new nodes, 386 nodes have Nvidia Tesla GPUs, 280 have dual Nvidia K20 GPUs and 106 have dual Nvidia K40 GPUs.

3. Open Science Grid

Clemson University maintains a strong relationship with the Open Science Grid (OSG) community, contributing more than 25% of its computing power to support OSG and also sending out a large amount of computing jobs to take advantage of the community resource. Clemson’s CCIT team has dedicated personnel to support faculty and staff to interact with OSG resources.

4. Cloud Computing Resources (CloudLab)

Clemson University is one of the three major sites that participate in the recently NSF-funded CloudLab project (www.cloudlab.us), which enables researchers to provision experimental distributed infrastructure with administrative privilege from 740 computing nodes from across five different computing resources. The computing resources locate at Clemson University include a 96-node cluster (each node has dual 10- core CPUs, 256GB memory, and dual 1TB HDDs) and a 4-node storage cluster (each node has dual 10- core CPUs, 256GB memory, 8 1TB HDDs, and 12 4TB HDDs).

5. Networks At the core of Clemson’s local area network are two fully-redundant, 10 Gbps-connected Cisco 6509s in diverse campus locations. These switches aggregate dual 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps connections from dual switch Cisco 3750 stacks that serve as building network distribution switches. These distribution stacks aggregate dual connections from the Cisco 3650s that connect to each end-user jack at 1 Gbps. This network design has no single points of failure in the core and distribution layers, is consistent across Clemson’s entire campus, is easy to troubleshoot, and behaves in a deterministic manner should link or equipment failures occur.

The C-Light Network is Clemson University’s connection to the national research community, via direct fiber between Clemson, Greenville, Atlanta, and Charlotte, providing high speed access to the National LambdaRail, Internet2, and other national and international research networks. C-Light currently provides 16 individual 10 gigabit connections to major peering points in both Atlanta and Charlotte, and one 100 gigabit connection to Atlanta. As a facilities-based network, C-Light can be easily reconfigured to dedicate access as needed. C-Light is the first leg of the South Carolina Light Rail, the State of South Carolina’s fiber optic network. This resource brings to Clemson the infrastructure that faculty and researchers need to collaborate with colleagues and access resources nationally and internationally, and ensures a competitive capability.