Resources overview

Supercomputers | Data analysis and visualization | Data storage and archives

These NCAR supercomputing, data storage, and archive systems support the development of climate models, weather forecasting, and other critical research.

Access to these resources is available through several allocation opportunities. Researchers who are supported by the National Science Foundation to pursue work in the atmospheric sciences or computational science in support of the atmospheric sciences are eligible to apply. Unsponsored graduate students, postdocs, and new faculty can apply for small allocations.

What high-performance computing systems has NCAR had before? See NCAR supercomputing history for a unique record of computational history and evolution.

New HPE Cray XE cluster named "Derecho"

NCAR has announced that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) will build the next supercomputer to be installed at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The HPE Cray EX cluster – to be named "Derecho" – will be delivered in the fall of 2021 and will become operational in early 2022. The 19.87-petaflops system is expected to deliver about 3.5 times the scientific throughput of the current Cheyenne supercomputer. The new system will get 20% of its sustained computing capability from graphics processing units (GPUs), with the remainder coming from traditional central processing units (CPUs).

Read about the selection of HPE to build the system.

Cheyenne: High-performance computing resource

Cheyenne is a 5.34-petaflops, high-performance computer built for NCAR by SGI. The hardware was delivered in September 2016 at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) and became operational at the beginning of 2017. An SGI ICE XA Cluster, the Cheyenne supercomputer features 145,152 latest-generation Intel Xeon processor cores in 4,032 dual-socket nodes (36 cores/node) and 313 TB of total memory. It is a critical tool for researchers across the country studying climate change, severe weather, geomagnetic storms, seismic activity, air quality, wildfires, and other important geoscience topics.

See Cheyenne system documentation.

Data analysis and visualization systems

The Casper cluster is a heterogeneous system of specialized analysis and visualization resources and large-memory, multi-GPU nodes. In addition to nodes configured for analysis and visualization, it includes others that feature large-memory, dense GPU configurations to support explorations in machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) in atmospheric and related sciences.

Users who are new to working with GPUs, which will provide 20% of the peak computing capability of a new NCAR system, can request access to Casper to get a head start on using that increasingly important technology.

See Casper documentation.

Data storage and archives

GLADE: Centralized file systems and data storage

This central file and data storage resource consists of file system servers and storage devices that are shared by the Cheyenne system and the Casper nodes. The centralized file systems allow scientists to generate model output on the supercomputer, then analyze or visualize it on data analysis and visualization nodes without needing to move data between clusters.

See GLADE system documentation.

Campaign Storage

The NCAR Campaign Storage file system is intended for use by the NCAR labs and universities as space for storing project data on publication timescales. The disk-based system has a five-year data-retention policy.

See Campaign Storage.

HPSS: NCAR data archive

Quasar archive

The Quasar archive is a cold archive for storing curated data collections that have an indefinite lifetime. It is not designed to serve data or to store data that will be frequently accessed, overwritten, or deleted. (Active data should be on GLADE or Campaign Storage rather than on Quasar.)

See Quasar archive for data collections.

Stratus object storage

Stratus, the CISL object storage disk system, is for write-once, read-many (WORM), long-term data storage.

See Stratus object storage.