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Platform Extends Deal With DoD Supercomputing Centers

The U.S. Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) will partner with grid computing software developer Platform Computing to build a job management environment for all users of the DoD's shared HPCMP resource centers across the United States.

The project extends the work Platform and DoD undertook two years ago to link nine data centers using Platform's products. It spans multiple DoD service and agency sites engaged in defense research, development and testing and will affect more than 4,000 users. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

HPCMP manages and allocates computer processing power across centers around the country based on user requirements and available resources. By standardizing on a common queuing user interface and workload manager, resource accounting, and plug-in scheduling, the DoD is laying the groundwork for a multi-phase project that will eventually include virtual resource clustering and sharing across multiple sites using grid technology.

"With the Platform solution, we are simplifying the process of users submitting work to queues through a common interface rather than multiple interfaces across multiple centers and machines," said HPCMP Director Cray Henry. "This standardized solution also gives us the benefits of common accounting and utilization reporting across all centers, so that we can base resource allocation decisions on consistent, accurate information."

DoD will deploy the Toronto-based Platform Computing solution across more than 10,000 nodes in shared resource centers to maximize IT resource utilization and to increase user productivity for more than 4,000 scientists and researchers. The project involves a broad range of personnel, including IT staff, government technical leaders and technical services providers such as Raytheon, CSC and Lockheed Martin who are working with the Platform services team to plan and complete the project.

The HPCMP program started in 1992 in response to congressional direction to modernize the DoD laboratories' high-performance computing capabilities. The HPCMP was assembled from small high-performance computing departments each with a history of supercomputing experience that had independently evolved within the DoD laboratories and test centers.

The HPCMP provides the supercomputer services, high-speed network communications, and computational science expertise that allows the DoD laboratories and test centers to conduct a range of focused research, development and test activities.