Press Release: November 17, 2009

HP Enables University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute to Advance Research and Drive Innovation

HP blades continue to dominate TOP500 supercomputing list

HP today announced the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for Advanced Computational Research (MSI) has chosen HP blade servers for a new high-performance computing system to power research across a broad range of disciplines, including life and physical sciences and engineering.

The new HP system at MSI placed No. 67 on the recently published TOP500 list of the world’s top supercomputers, which HP ProLiant blade servers continue to lead with 42 percent of entries.

Powered by 1,083 HP ProLiant BL280c G6 servers with 8,664 computing cores, the new supercomputer, named “Itasca” by MSI, delivers 97 teraflops of theoretical computing performance.(1) The system delivers three times the aggregate theoretical peak performance of MSI’s other core computing resources.

MSI is celebrating its 25th anniversary as an interdisciplinary research program spanning all the University of Minnesota colleges. Today, MSI supports almost 500 active research groups and more than 4,000 active users across a wide range of disciplines rely on its diverse computational resources.

Among the reasons MSI chose the HP ProLiant BL280c are its scalable quad-core computing performance and memory capabilities. With outstanding dual-processor performance and price per watt, the HP ProLiant BL280c reduces overall data center power consumption while maintaining high performance.

The processing density of the HP ProLiant BL280c is ideal for analyzing massive data sets such as those used for mathematical algorithms and scientific modeling. The HP ProLiant BL280c G6 delivers up to a 190.8 megaflops-per-watt ratio,(2) running the TOP500 Linpack Benchmark across a 1056-node system.

The HP supercomputer at MSI features 24 gigabytes of RAM per node, a 40 Gb QDR InfiniBand interconnect and more than 150 terabytes of attached storage. As a result, MSI anticipates improved capacity for running high-performance applications that resolve research challenges.

“Today, high-demand computation is absolutely central to a wide array of important research areas that are vital to putting the University of Minnesota in a leadership position,” said Tom Jones, interim director, Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for Advanced Computational Research. “This new computing system is a big step above what most other universities can call on, so our faculty and students are really excited by the big boost in computational resources they will have to drive those knowledge frontiers.”

HP continues TOP500 leadership

HP solidified its position on the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers with the HP BladeSystem c-Class and HP ProLiant blade servers dominating competitive installations for the third consecutive year.

HP remains the leader with a total of 208 (42 percent) of the top 500 systems built on HP ProLiant architectures. Of those, HP BladeSystem c-Class servers power 203 entries, 40.6 percent of the total units. Blade servers enable customers to increase computing performance within existing physical data center space. HP industry-standard blade servers lead the supercomputing market by easing the management of these large and complex systems while managing system energy efficiencies.

About the rankings

The TOP500 ranking of supercomputers is released twice a year by researchers at the Universities of Tennessee and Mannheim, Germany, and at NERSC Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The list ranks supercomputers worldwide based on the Linpack N*N Benchmark, a yardstick of performance that is a reflection of processor speed and scalability.

More information about HP’s high-performance computing solutions is available at

Visit HP in booth 1025 at the SC09 supercomputing conference in Portland, Ore., through Nov. 20 for demonstrations of the company’s offerings. Visit MSI in booth 155 for demonstrations showcasing research at the University of Minnesota and the new HP system.

About HP

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(1) One teraflop equals 1 trillion floating point operations per second.

(2) One megaflop equals 1 million floating point operations per second

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