Cheyenne is one of the world's most powerful commercial supercomputers with 5.33 petaflops, and is capable of performing more than 5 quadrillion basic mathematics operations per second. Cheyenne recently was ranked as 20th on the TOP500 supercomputer list.
Cheyenne uses Silicon Graphics' ICE XA system, and is designed to enable scientists, researchers and engineers to better understand earth and atmospheric systems, and use that understanding to solve grand challenges, such as drought and extreme weather events impacting the world.
The installation of Cheyenne will provide UW researchers with 160 million core hours of computing per year; up from 60 million core hours available on the original NWSC supercomputer Yellowstone. Yellowstone will be retired at the end of 2017.
Any request for more than 200,000 core hours is considered a large request. One core hour is the equivalent of running one application on a single computer for one hour. Last year, there were 27 active UW projects on the NWSC, said Bryan Shader, UW's special assistant to the vice president for research and economic development, and a mathematics professor.
"This level of usage ranked Wyoming as no. 1 in total allocations and usage, and no. 2 in active projects of the NWSC among universities", stated Bryan Shader, who also serves as co-chair of the Wyoming-NCAR Alliance Resource Allocations Panel, a group that evaluates requests for large allocations on NWSC's supercomputers.
Applications and allocation information can be accessed at www.uwyo.edu/nwsc/allocations/ . The research must lie in earth system science or atmospheric science. A list of eligible science areas is available at www.uwyo.edu/nwsc/eligibility/science_areas.html . A PowerPoint presentation that offers suggestions on how to write a competitive proposal can be found at www.uwyo.edu/nwsc/_files/allocationtips.pdf .
For purposes of requesting Cheyenne allocations, UW faculty members should assume that one Yellowstone core hour is equivalent to 0.82 Cheyenne core hours. That is, faculty members should estimate their computational need based on Yellowstone costs and multiply the total by 0.82 to arrive at their Cheyenne estimate.
Successful allocation requests include benchmarking studies on a smaller scale and on a smaller computer. These benchmark studies can be performed using Mount Moran, the nickname for UW's Advanced Research Computing Center.
The NWSC is the result of a partnership among the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the operating entity for NCAR; UW; the state of Wyoming; Cheyenne LEADS; the Wyoming Business Council; and Black Hills Energy. The NWSC is operated by NCAR under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation.
The NWSC is dedicated to improving scientific understanding of climate change, severe weather, air quality and other vital atmospheric science and geo-science topics. The centre also houses a premier data storage (16 petabytes) and archival facility that holds historical climate records and other information.