SCD News > Feature: December 2, 2002
by Lynda Lester
On 15 November 2002, NCAR joined the top 10 elite of the world's fastest supercomputing centers due to its acquisition of bluesky, an IBM SP system with a peak speed of 6.3 teraflops. The system is currently nearing completion of its 30-day Acceptance Testing Phase.
Bluesky was delivered and installed in October 2002, the largest computer installation in the history of NCAR. It represents Phase II of NCAR's Advanced Research Computing System (ARCS).
SCD was in charge of the bluesky acquisition, working for months in advance to build a solid infrastructure to support the system and to customize hardware and software configurations. Knowing bluesky would double electrical consumption in the Computer Room from 300 to more than 600 kilowatts, SCD installed six new electrical panels, a new 250-ton chiller, and three additional air handlers to control the additional heat. SCD cross-sectional planning teams worked closely with the IBM Large Systems Support Group in Poughkeepsie, New York, to ensure that system requirements were met and installation would be expeditious and smooth.
When seven semi trucks arrived from New York carrying 168,000 pounds of equipment, SCD supervised unloading, unpacking, installation, and cleanup operations. Here is a photo record of those historic events.
NCAR is managed by UCAR and sponsored by the National Science Foundation