Frost Blue Gene/L system decommissioned after 7 years in service

June 13, 2012

On June 1, NCAR's Blue Gene/L system, Frost, stopped accepting compute jobs, thus ending the system's more than seven years of service to computational scientists from NCAR, the University of Colorado, Boulder, the former TeraGrid program, and other organizations.

The first rack of the Frost system was delivered March 15, 2005, and accepted March 28, 2005. Initially dedicated to collaborations between NCAR and CU-Boulder, Frost became available to TeraGrid users in July 2007. In September 2009, the system was augmented with three additional racks from the San Diego Supercomputer Center, bringing the system to its final configuration of 8,192 processors. As a single-rack system, Frost delivered approximately a million core-hours per month, which more than tripled following its expansion.

Frost completed its four years of TeraGrid service in July 2011. CISL was able to keep the system running to support a few NCAR and CU-Boulder collaborations, as well as to support the Asteroseismic Modeling Portal (AMP) gateway. Notably, since its TeraGrid retirement, usage of the six-year-old Frost increased, delivering more than 3 million core-hours per month on average to its small set of devoted users.

In total, Frost delivered more than 126 million core-hours to TeraGrid and non-TeraGrid over the 58 months since July 2007.

Frost's file systems will remain available to users through the end of June 2012 to provide access for data migration. Frost's users are being directed to other HPC opportunities, including the CU-NCAR Janus cluster, CISL's Bluefire and forthcoming Yellowstone, and XSEDE (successor to TeraGrid) systems.