Sweetgum Is Going Away October 1st, 2009
MCSR's SGI Origin 2800 (Sweetgum) was purchased in June 1999 as the primary portion of a large HPC procurement that also included the Cray C916 (Magnolia). The shared-memory, 64 processor, 32 GB memory SGI Origin was purchased new and was near the beginning of its marketing cycle. The Cray C916 system was used/DoD surplus, and was moved here from NAVO at Stennis Labs. The purchase price for both systems including installation, hardware and software support, and freight was $1.8 million, and was repaid over two fiscal years. The SGI Origin system was doubled in size from 64 to 128 processors and from 32 to 64 GB memory by a vendor donation in September 2002.
Sweetgum was the MCSR's first major parallel computing resource, and was heavily used for many years by a variety of research applications. Most of the use recently has been in support of computational chemistry. Sweetgum has been self-maintained by MCSR and IT staff for several years, in order to reduce costs. Although relatively stable, it has been increasingly difficult to maintain, with scarce parts availability. It has also been sensitive to power problems, with occasional extended downtime. User CPU utilization has declined significantly in the last year and averages about 20% currently, reflecting the system's age and modest performance when compared to other, more powerful MCSR HPC systems.
Therefore, the decision has been made to remove Sweetgum from service on 10/1/2009. This action, which is clearly appropriate and timely, shouldn't affect most users, who have already moved on to Mimosa, Redwood, and/or Sequoia. It will also help offset State budget reductions, which are expected later this fiscal year, and will reduce the Data Center's power usage.
We advise all Sweetgum users to move their programs and data immediately to other MCSR platforms. After 10/1/2009, recovery or access to user programs and/or data will not be possible. Please let us know as soon as possible if you have a specific problem with this deinstallation plan by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate your cooperation and continuing support.