IBM 9071 SP1

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Dates Used: 
Sunday, August 1, 1993 to Friday, September 1, 1995
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The IBM 9071 SP1, IBM's first scalable parallel machine, was installed at NCAR in August 1993. It was acquired with funds from the National Science Foundation's High-Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) program.

The SP1 belonged to a new generation of products based on IBM RISC System/6000 technology, providing users with simultaneous parallel and serial processing capabilities. Called "wildhorse, the SP1 was experimental and used to evaluate performance and ease of use for parallel processing of large simulations.

The SP1 consisted of a sever node plus a frame containing eight processor nodes. The server node was an RS/6000 Model 980 with 512 megabytes of memory, 4 gigabytes of internal disk space, 8 gigabytes of external disk space, and communications facilities.

All of the eight processor nodes were RS/6000 Model 370s containing 128 megabytes of memory and 1 gigabyte of internal disk space. The SP1 additionally had an RS/6000 Model 220 that functioned as a system monitor.

Output of the SP1 was ~26 megaflops on a single processor, which was multiplied by an estimated .15 efficiency for parallel use.

Software included math libraries, the Distributed Queueing System (DQS) for batch job submittal, Cray conversion routines, the Fortran 90 XLF compiler, and Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM).

Wildhorse was decommissioned in 1997.