Coral, an Aspen Systems Linux cluster, was delivered to NCAR on August 16, 2005, and passed acceptance testing on September 3, 2005. The system was then turned over to NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory's (CISL) system administration staff for on-site configuration prior to making it available to scientific users.
The Coral cluster was a computing resource dedicated to the Institute for Mathematics in the Geosciences (IMAGe), which was part of CISL. Coral provided a unique environment for researchers working in the area of turbulence and geophysical statistics.
Coral was a stand-alone system comprised of two interactive/login nodes, sixteen dual-processor nodes each with 4 gigabytes of memory for batch computing (plus a 'hot-spare' batch node), along with nodes for running system services and maintenance activities. It used the then-new Intel® Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T, or "Nocona") processors. Unlike computing facilities then found elsewhere in CISL, Coral closely integrated computing technologies for modeling, post-processing, analysis, and visualization. This coupling of resources enhanced the scientific productivity of the IMAGe team by reducing burdensome data management and data transfer activities, freeing the researchers to focus more effort on scientific discovery.
Coral served IMAGe for just over five years; being decommissioned near the end of September 2010.