PPCF enters phase 0
The Particle Physics Computing Facility is funded by a NSF MRI grant. It will support computing needs of ATLAS and MINERvA, both Hampton University and others. In addition, it will provide computing resources to other NSF-supported disciplines on campus and on the OSG.
In phase 0, we are establishing two basic systems with a login server, gateways, a webserver, and a common filesystem. The two systems are a local cluster of 4-6 nodes for internal use, and a grid-enabled cluster of 6-8 nodes for OSG use. All nodes will have 2GB RAM per core. There are two RAID arrays for storage totalling 4.2TB, accessed through storage servers.
The present systems are shown in the pictures (getting the pieces connected is a challenge!). At the moment, operating systems in use include Red Hat, Fedora Core 8, and Scientific Linux (SLC4.4, SL4.5, and SL5.0). We have installed, and are using, ATLAS software from version 12.0.6 to 13.0.3. Version 12.0.95 is being used for Combined Test Beam analysis by students.
In phase 0, we are addressing issues of power and air-conditioning, security, accessibility across the campus and from outside, maintenance (looking at the ability to quickly bring up new and repaired systems) and other management issues that will need to be under control before production is possible. In phase 1, the grid cluster will be put on the OSG, and the local cluster will have clustering middleware and management tools. Phase 2 will be an expansion to full size, in time for ATLAS running.