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Genome Sciences Center Compute Cluster | by Martin Krzywinski
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Genome Sciences Center Compute Cluster

This cluster consists of 420 compute nodes each with 12 cores and 48GB RAM, totaling 5,040 cores and 20TB RAM. Each node has 160GB local /tmp space and all nodes are tied together over an Inifiniband 40Gbs network. The nodes all have access to a dedicated storage system over the Infiniband Network running GPFS with a total 700TB of usable scratch space. The filesystem is served by 8 IBM x3850 servers. All nodes are running CentOS5.4 and are using open source Grid Engine 6.2u5 as their scheduler.



Technical note: The images were shot with a 5D and Canon lenses 17-40L, 24-70L, and 70-200L, as well as Sigma 150 Macro. Lighting was created using 3 300Ws Hensel Integras (shown here in the image). Various color gels (Rosco) were used to achieve candy lighting. Typically the flood or 7" reflector were used, with $0.67 clips holding the gels (no, you can never have enough of these little clips).


Because the subject wasn't moving, I used the modelling lights to light the scene (exposure times varied from 1s to 20s, depending on aperture). All the shots required creative mixing of colors, so the lights were moved around a lot. Longer exposures provided good exposure of the LED lighting. LCD panels on some equipment illuminated the rack doors, achieving an interesting effect.


Some shots were taken purposely out of focus, giving the image an abstract and informatic look.


The compute server room is serviced entirely by 220V. Only on the second day did I find a single 120V receptacle, buried deep under one of the anonymous raised floor panels. Although the Hensels are rated for both 120 and 220V, I learned that the modelling bulbs are not (a rather unfortunate and unintuitive fact). Apparently the 220V is sent directly to the bulbs (lights ship with 300W 120V G6.35 halogen) which makes the 120V bulbs blow out once the light is cranked beyond 9.0 (or so). Yep, blew a bunch of bulbs and had my ass saved by Beau Photo who had cheap replacements in stock.

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Taken on February 10, 2011