Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad Gobierno de Canarias Universidad de La Laguna CSIC Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa

Supercomputing

Technical specification

LaPalma has two terabytes of main memory, equivalent to the memory of more than 200 hundred home computers. It has 38,5 terabytes of hard disc for data storage, the same amount of information as a library of over 25 million books, and is housed in a room of just under 32 square metres.

The superconductor is connected to the IAC headquarters in Tenerife by an underwater cable with a bandwidth of 10 Gigabit/s (Gbps), at least 1Gbps of which is guaranteed. When sending data, the La Palma supercomputer is some 10 times faster than a home fibre optic broadband service. With La Palma, communications are accelerated, compensating for the dense information traffic between the Canaries and mainland Spain.

Its architecture is based on 256 “blades” (servers with two processors), a type of data processing computer that delivers considerable savings on space and energy consumption.

LaPalma has low energy consumption: it requires as little as 85.5kw, the same as would be required to power 855 100 watt lightbulbs.

The room in which the supercomputer is housed has a reinforced floor capable of supporting a weight of 2,000 kg per square metre. It also has back-up electricity and cooling systems together with advanced air conditioning, security, motor and fire protection systems. LaPalma is kept in this room at a temperature of 24 degrees centigrade.

Other supercomputing resources available to IAC personnel

  • TeideHPC: TeideHPC supercomputer is composed of 1100 Fujitsu computing servers, with a total of 17800 cores and 36 TB of memory, a high-performance network and a parallel system of NetApp storage.
  • The HTCondor distributed computing system: The HTCondor system consists of desktop machines at the IAC’s Research and Postgraduate Education Divisions. Around 250 CPUs, with Linux operating systems of 64 bits, currently form part of the Condor pool.

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