Wrangler Supercomputer speeds through big data with flash!

No, we are not talking about the famous American Jeans brand or the Spanish cowboys. All we are talking about is “Wrangler Supercomputer” which is located at University of Texas- Austin.

Very recently, a new kind of super computer, called Wrangler was brought online by the Data Intensive Computing Group at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). The said beast is said to fill the gap of supercomputing resources of XSEDE, the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). XSEDE is a collection of advanced digital resources that scientists can easily use to share and analyze the massive datasets being produced in nearly every field of research today.

Going into the history, in the year 2013, NSF awarded TACC and its academic partners Indiana University and the University of Chicago $11.2 million to build and operate Wrangler, a supercomputer to handle data intensive high performance computing tasks.

Wrangler was designed to work closely with the Stampede supercomputer, the 10th most powerful in the world according to the bi-annual Top 500 list, and the flagship of TACC at the University of Texas at Austin. Stampede has computed over six million jobs for open science since it came online in 2013.

The highlight of Wrangler is that it has a very large flash storage system to handle big data, and a very large distributed spinning disc storage system with high speed network access. So, a tiered approach will help people solve data problems that weren’t being fulfilled by systems like Stampede and Lonestar.

Getting technical, Wrangler has over 600 terabytes of flash memory shared via PCI Interconnect across Wrangler’s over 3,000 Haswell compute cores. All parts of the system can access the same storage and can work in parallel together on the data that are stored inside this high-speed storage system to get larger results they couldn’t get otherwise.

Wrangler’s job in the university will be to deal with big data related to gene analysis, dark energy and fossil data.


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