These NCAR supercomputing, data storage, and archive systems support the development of climate models, weather forecasting, and other critical research.
Access to these resources is available through several allocation opportunities. Researchers who are supported by the National Science Foundation to pursue work in the atmospheric sciences or computational science in support of the atmospheric sciences are eligible to apply. Unsponsored graduate students, postdocs, and new faculty can apply for small allocations.
Derecho, the new supercomputer NCAR installed in 2023, features 2,488 compute nodes with 128 AMD Milan cores per node and 82 nodes with four NVIDIA A100 GPUs each. The HPE Cray EX cluster is a 19.87-petaflops system that is expected to deliver about 3.5 times the scientific throughput of the Cheyenne system.
Cheyenne is a 5.34-petaflops, high-performance computer built for NCAR by SGI. The hardware was delivered in September 2016 at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) and became operational at the beginning of 2017. An SGI ICE XA Cluster, the Cheyenne supercomputer features 145,152 latest-generation Intel Xeon processor cores in 4,032 dual-socket nodes (36 cores/node) and 313 TB of total memory.
It is a critical tool for researchers across the country studying climate change, severe weather, geomagnetic storms, seismic activity, air quality, wildfires, and other important geoscience topics.
The Casper cluster is a heterogeneous system of specialized analysis and visualization resources and large-memory, multi-GPU nodes. In addition to nodes configured for analysis and visualization, it includes others that feature large-memory, dense GPU configurations to support explorations in machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) in atmospheric and related sciences.
Users who are new to working with GPUs, which will provide 20% of the peak computing capability of the Derecho system, can request access to Casper to get a head start on using that increasingly important technology.
This central file and data storage resource consists of file system servers and storage devices that are shared by the Cheyenne system and the Casper nodes. The centralized file systems allow scientists to generate model output on the supercomputer, then analyze or visualize it on data analysis and visualization nodes without needing to move data between clusters.
The NCAR Campaign Storage file system is intended for use by the NCAR labs and universities as space for storing project data on publication timescales. The disk-based system has a five-year data-retention policy.
The Quasar archive is a cold archive for storing curated data collections that have an indefinite lifetime. It is not designed to serve data or to store data that will be frequently accessed, overwritten, or deleted. (Active data should be on GLADE or Campaign Storage rather than on Quasar.)
Stratus, the CISL object storage disk system, is for write-once, read-many (WORM), long-term data storage.