August 2022 Hello from ORCD

We thought that this month it would be interesting to write a brief note summarizing the campus-wide resources currently available for research and education and now enabled through ORCD. 

Making at-scale computing and data analysis ubiquitous and seamless for all campus research and education is a major ORCD goal. Under the hood, this involves leveraging an ever-evolving mix of technologies spanning on-premises facilities to the commercial cloud. The on-premises resources available MIT-wide right now include multiple established shared clusters and a recently launched shared system at the MIT Bates facility. Information on all these can be found here. Here’s a summary:

  1. In Holyoke there are 4 pools of computers available to anyone at MIT. The Engaging, Satori, and C3DDB clusters, housed at the MGHPCC facility, host more than 300 generally available CPU computers and 300 Volta class GPUs, together with more than 1000 PI group-funded CPU and GPU systems. These PI group-funded systems are also available for general use when not in use by PI groups. 
  2. The Supercloud cluster, jointly enabled by ORCD and Lincoln Laboratory and housed about ½ mile from the MGHPCC facility, adds 620 CPU computers and 448 Volta class GPUs that are all generally available to the entire MIT community.
  3. The submit cluster at Bates in Middleton is a relatively new addition to the ORCD mix. This system offers a further 19 CPU nodes and four new NVidia A30 inference GPU nodes for general use, and 24 PI group-funded GPU nodes with NVidia RTX 2080 GPUs.  The submitted system supports both the Slurm scheduler and also HTCondor style workflows.

All the shared systems represent a coalition of the willing that combines PI-funded resources, general use grant-funded resources, and Institutional support. A vision in ORCD is to continue to grow and strengthen this coalition. All the shared systems leverage the Slurm scheduling software and have similar, but not identical, software environments.

Other news

  • Livermore National Ignition Facility (NIF) achieves the first scientific break-even fusion reaction here.

We hope everyone continues having a good Northern Hemisphere Summer.


Peter Fisher – Head, ORCD (started Sept. 1, 2022), Head, Physics Department (until Aug31, 2022), and Thomas A. Frank (1977) Professor of Physics.

Heather Williams – Assistant Provost for Strategic Projects

Chris Hill – Principle Research Scientist, EAPS, and Director of the Research Computing Project

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