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Team led by IU wins Supercomputing Bandwidth Competition

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  • From: "Moore, Gregory A" <>
  • To: "" <>
  • Subject: Team led by IU wins Supercomputing Bandwidth Competition
  • Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 10:28:42 -0500
  • Accept-language: en-US
  • Acceptlanguage: en-US

Team led by IU wins Supercomputing Bandwidth Competition

View this news release online:

Nov. 16, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A team led by Indiana University, with partners from the
Technische Universitaet Dresden, Rochester Institute of Technology, Oak Ridge
National Laboratory and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, was awarded
first place in an international competition for leading-edge, high-bandwidth
computing applications. The award was presented Thursday at SC07, the world's
largest international conference for high performance computing, networking,
storage and analysis, being held this week in Reno, Nevada.

The Bandwidth Challenge competition invites teams of technologists from the
nation's most elite supercomputing facilities to push the limits of modern
computer networks. The competition this year was based on the theme "serving
as a model." Competitors were challenged to create methods for fully
utilizing a high-speed network path to support end-to-end network
applications running across a grid that included the conference's exhibit
floor and the participant's home institutions using production networks.

Using the IU Data Capacitor, a system designed to store and manipulate
massive data sets, the IU team achieved a peak transfer rate of 18.21
Gigabits/second out of a possible maximum of 20 Gigabits/second. This
performance was nearly twice the peak rate of the nearest competitor. The IU
team achieved an overall sustained rate of 16.2 Gigabits/second (roughly
equivalent to sending 170 CDs of data per minute) using a transatlantic
network path that included the Internet2, G√ČANT, and DFN research networks.

"This project simultaneously pushed the limits of networking and storage
technology while demonstrating a reproducible model for remote data
management. Best of all, we did this using a variety of research applications
that we support every day at Indiana University," said Data Capacitor and
Bandwidth Challenge project leader Stephen Simms.

During the competition, the IU-led team ran several cutting edge computer
applications, all of which depend upon the Data Capacitor's ability to read
and write data at extreme speeds. A key aspect of the demonstration was the
ability to simultaneously support a mix of several different applications
from the sciences and humanities, including:

* Modeling and analysis of the amyloid peptide, which is thought to be the
cause of Alzheimer's disease, using IU's Big Red Supercomputer, led by Mookie
Baik of the IU School of Informatics and IU Bloomington Department of

* Live acquisition of x-ray crystallography data, led by D.F. "Rick"
McMullen, of Pervasive Technology Labs at Indiana University.

* Digital preservation of ancient Sanskrit manuscripts, led by P.R. Mukund of
the Rochester Institute of Technology.

* Performance analysis of a computational fluid dynamics application by the
Technische Universitaet Dresden using its Vampir/VampirTrace software
package, led by Matthias Mueller of the Center for Information Services and
High Performance Computing.

* Simulations of a high energy physics reaction between the basic particles
of matter, led by Scott Teige of Indiana University Information Technology

"IU continues to develop deep and complementary skills in advanced
networking, data storage, grids and scientific gateways," said Brad Wheeler,
IU vice president for information technology and chief information officer.
"This accomplishment demonstrates the cumulative expertise that we are able
to apply to research problems of interest from the life sciences to

"We were pleased to earn an honorable mention in the SC06 competition, and
winning this year with outstanding results is a testament to the team's
advanced skills," Wheeler said.

The Bandwidth Challenge competition was just one aspect of IU's involvement
in networking at SC07. IU was among the sponsors of the SC07 network, and IU
staff helped build and manage a massive network that included more than 80
miles of fiber optic cable installed to support the SC07 conference.

The Data Capacitor is powered by the open source Lustre file system and the
Linux operating system. It is currently accessible to U.S. researchers though
IU's participation in the TeraGrid. The Data Capacitor was developed by a
team from IU University Information Technology Services, the IU School of
Informatics, and Pervasive Technology Labs at Indiana University. Corporate
partners for the IU Bandwidth Challenge effort include Data Direct Networks,
Dell, Myricom, Inc., Force 10 Networks, Inc.

The Data Capacitor project is supported in part by the National Science
Foundation under NSF Award Number CNS0521433 (Craig Stewart, PI; Stephen
Simms, Co-PI and project manager; Caty Pilachowski, Randall Bramley and Beth
Plale, Co-PIs). IU's involvement in the TeraGrid is supported in part by NSF
grants ACI-0338618l, OCI-0451237, OCI-0535258, and OCI-0504075.

IU's Big Red Supercomputer was funded in part by a grant from the Lilly
Endowment, Inc. for the Indiana METACyt Initiative. Any opinions, findings,
and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of
the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science
Foundation or the Lilly Endowment Inc.

About UITS
University Information Technology Services at IU, with offices on the
Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses, develops and maintains a modern
information technology environment throughout the university in support of
IU's vision for excellence in research, teaching, outreach, and lifelong
UITS provides tools and services to support the academic and administrative
work of the university, including a high-speed campus network with wireless
access, central web hosting, a rich selection of free and low-cost software
for personal use, tools and support for instruction and research, and
supercomputers for data analysis and visualization.

About Pervasive Technology Labs at IU
Pervasive Technology Labs at IU (, established in 1999 by a
grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc., performs leading-edge research based on the
ubiquity of information technology in today's world, creating new inventions,
devices, and software that extend the capabilities of information technology
in advanced research and everyday life. Fundamental to its mission are
efforts to attract, encourage, educate, and retain Indiana 's workforce of
tomorrow, and to accelerate economic growth in the State through the
commercialization of new inventions and by forming and supporting new
start-up companies. In carrying out its mission, Pervasive Technology Labs is
helping IU maintain its position of international leadership in information
technology research and, as a result, is helping to enhance the prosperity of
the entire State of Indiana.

About the IU School of Informatics
The IU School of Informatics offers a unique, interdisciplinary curriculum
that focuses on developing specialized skills and knowledge of information
technology. The School has a variety of undergraduate degrees and specialized
master's and doctorate degrees in bioinformatics, chemical informatics,
health informatics, human-computer interaction, laboratory informatics, new
media and computer science. Each degree is an interdisciplinary endeavor that
combines course work and field experiences from a traditional subject area or
discipline with intensive study of information and technology.

About Indiana University
IU is one of the oldest state universities in the Midwest and also one of the
largest universities in the United States, with more than 110,000 students,
faculty and staff on eight campuses. IU has a national reputation in the
areas of information technology and advanced networking.

Media Contacts
Susan Williams
University Communications


Stephen Simms
Project Manager, Data Capacitor and Bandwidth Challenge



Gregory A. Moore
Senior Communications Specialist
Communications Office
University Information Technology Services
Indiana University
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  • Team led by IU wins Supercomputing Bandwidth Competition, Moore, Gregory A, 11/19/2007

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