The PSC Dual Boot Cluster

In August, the PSC Cluster upgraded from 10 to 20 four-processor Intel SMP (symmetric multi-processor) machines, providing an aggregate of 80 Intel PII 400 MHz processors. Uniquely configured as a "dual boot" system, the PSC Cluster runs either the Linux or NT operating system and switches easily between them. The batch scheduler reboots the operating system as necessary.

"The cluster is a production high-performance computing resource," says J. Ray Scott, PSC assistant director of systems and operations, "not merely backup or load-balancing for other PSC systems." To date, researchers have used the PSC Cluster for a range of computations, including quantum studies of magnetism, computational fluid dynamics, and molecular dynamics.