CARC launches new condominium cluster: UNM Newsroom

The University of New Mexico Center for Advanced Research Computing (CARC) has launched a new condominium cluster. The cluster, called Hopper, will provide general computing resources to the UNM community and also includes hardware funded by individual UNM researchers to support their sponsored research efforts.

The Office of the Vice President of Research funded a number of nodes in Hopper in support of CARC’s core mission of providing computational resources to support the UNM objectives as a research institution. These nodes are available for free use by the UNM Computing Research Community. The Hopper cluster consists of 49 computing nodes and 6 infrastructure nodes with a combined 1,760 Intel Xeon Gold CPUs and 8.2 TB of RAM.


Commodore Grace M. Hopper USN

“Continuing to invest in CARC is crucial to UNM’s research and education missions,” said UNM Vice President of Research Ellen Fisher. CARC serves as the focal point of computational research and education at UNM and has been successful in implementing the “one university” framework in collaboration with Main Campus ‘and Health Sciences’ researchers and students to create and translate new knowledge.

“This new condominium cluster expands CARC’s capabilities to provide access to advanced computing resources and associated infrastructure, offer specialized expertise, coordinate and collaborate with other UNM programs across all UNM campuses, and develop the collaborative user community through training and outreach.”

Researchers are also able to purchase individual notes in Hopper, giving them priority access to their own notes at any time. A major advantage of the condominium model is that researchers are able to use other researchers’ nodes in the system when these nodes are not in use. This allows researchers to take full advantage of Hopper’s computing power, ensures that resources do not stand still, and reduces waiting times to run jobs.

Computer science professor Melanie Moses is one of the researchers who bought a notebook in Hopper. The Hopper cluster will allow us to scale up our SIMCoV model to simulate viral spread and immune response through the 500 billion cells in the human lung. This unprecedented scale will show how much damage viruses and immune responses can cause to the lungs in during an infection, ”she said.

Hopper is named after Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, a mathematician and computer scientist. Hopper was a pioneer in computer programming and created the first programming language that allowed programmers to write code in words instead of symbols. She accomplished this by creating a compiler, a program that translates the words programmers use into symbol-based machine code that a computer can understand. This work became the basis of COBOL, a programming language that is still very widespread today.

“CARC supports UNM Campus with research computer hardware and support, and with Hopper we will be able to offer faculty and students expanded computer resources,” said CARC Associate Director Ylva Pihlström. “The new cluster will help boost research and scholarships across campus for both individual and collaborative research projects, and the plan is to continue adding nodes to the Hopper cluster in the future.”

Hopper is available now to researchers who have purchased nodes and will be made available to the rest of the UNM research community by the end of June 2022. Researchers interested in purchasing nodes in Hopper or the next condominium cluster through CARC’s internal service center can contact us by e-mail for more information.

Photo: Photo of Grace Hopper on loan from the US Navy, ID DN-SC-84-05971.

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