Monday 30th of November, Vice-Dean John Krogstie officially opened the expansion of the Njord supercomputer. With the expansion of 25 tons of IBM hardware, Njord can now deliver 23,5 TeraFLOPS of computational power, and it weights a total of 41 metric tons.
The Njord national supercomputing facility was opened by NTNU's Rector, Torbjørn Digernes, on 30th of November in 2006. Back then the IBM p575+ computer delivered a peak performance of 7,5 TeraFLOPS, which was calculated to be sufficient for the next 3 - 4 years. The new expansion increases the computational power almost three times, and extends the lifespan of Njord by 18 months.
In the Norse mythology Njord is the God of the wind, sea and the trade at sea. He can calm storms, and extinguish fire. NTNU's Njord is the Norwegian supercomputer which computes the weather forecasts for the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (in Norwegian). With Njord's boost in computational powers the accuracy of weather forecasts will improve. Njord is also used by the research institutions participating in the Notur project.
The excess heat from the supercomputer is used to heat the Realfagsbygget building at the NTNU campus. The mainframe is both water and air cooled, and the excess heat from the supercomputer is transferred to Realfagsbygget to help heat the building. The expansion of Njord has cost NTNU around NOK 13 million in infrastructure development. The new infrastructure was prepared both for Njord and the new supercomputer scheduled for 2011.
The Njord supercomputer is a tightly coupled cluster consisting of 192 IBM p575+ interconnected nodes. Each node has 16 processors which are coupled using IBM's high performance switches. The system is run by IBM's Unix-operating system, AIX version 5.3.
Photos of Vice-Dean John Krogstie at the Njord supercomputer (Flickr).