Introducing ALICE

Posted by mjs76 at Jun 09, 2010 05:29 PM |
Our new super-computer has a name and is all set to launch.

There have been many famous Alices: Alice in Wonderland, Alice’s Restaurant, Alice Cooper, Alice Springs... Now here’s another one – the Advanced Leicester Information and Computational Environment.

ALICE is our new High Performance Computing Service which is set to launch next month. A competition was held among staff and students to come up with a name for the beast and the winner was Physics undergraduate Micah Harris, who collected his prize from Martin Barstow, Head of the College of Science and Engineering, and Mary Visser, Director of IT Services.

ALICE will be a free service to help all our researchers with their problem solving. It (she?) will be available both on and off campus and there will be training available and a dedicated support team.

Apparently, the system is composed of 256 compute nodes, two login nodes, two management nodes and a high performance parallel file system of 100TB capacity. All these components are connected by a fast network fabric. Each compute node has a pair of quad-core 2.67GHz Intel Xeon X5550 CPUs and 12GB of RAM. In total therefore there are 2048 CPU cores available for running jobs. ALICE is running 64-bit Scientific Linux 5.4, a variant of Redhat Enterprise Linux.

Or something.

According to Google, ALICE can also stand for Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity, America Latina Interconectada Con Europa or, would you believe, A Large Ion Collider Experiment.