Crunching Ranger's numbers

Crunching Ranger's numbers

This article originally appeared in the Further Findings research blog.

In a world in which small computing devices such as the iPad and its cousins get a lot of attention and what they're used for is getting smaller (I've used more than 140 characters already), it's good to know there is still room for Big Iron.

Of course, big problems -- such as astronomy, energy, biosciences, geosciences and climate -- need a big computer with a lot of processing power.

That's what we're talking about with the Ranger supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

Some Ranger numbers:

  • 15,744 quad-core AMD OpteronTM processors
  • 579.4 teraflops (flops is floating point operations per second and is a measure of how fast the computer processes information)
  • 123 terabytes of total memory

Ranger marked its second anniversary on Feb. 4, and its users have kept it busy.

More numbers:

  • 2,863 users
  • 981 research projects
  • 1,089,075 jobs
  • 754,873,713.8 hours of processing time
  • 97 percent uptime

"It's arguably the most productive supercomputer in history in terms of the number of people it's supported and the number of jobs it's supported," said Jay Boisseau, TACC's director.

One more number:

$59 million -- The National Science Foundation grant for Ranger and four years of operation.