Drexel University Chose Advanced HPC, Bright Cluster Manager to Help Unravel the Mysteries of the Universe and the World of Molecular Dynamics


Drexel’s most powerful supercomputer runs Bright Cluster Manager — freeing scientists to focus on leading-edge research instead of managing their complex GPU-based system

By Bright Staff | Jul 13, 2011 3:00:00 PM |



San Jose, California — Bright Computing, a leader in cluster management software, today announced that Drexel University is using Bright Cluster Manager® to manage its newly-installed HPC cluster from Advanced HPC. This system, funded by an NSF grant, is being used to perform research at two extremes of science: simulations of star-forming regions in space, including galactic nuclei, and molecular dynamics. As far apart as these studies appear, they are both based on similar techniques employing particle methods. In addition to research, the cluster is also used for teaching courses in high-performance computing and GPU programming.

Astrophysicist Dr. Steve McMillan is the Principal Investigator using the cluster. There are three co-investigators from multiple departments at Drexel: Dr. Cameron Abrams, Chemical and Biological Engineering; Dr. Jeremy Johnson, Computer Science; and Dr. Nagarajan Kandasamy, Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The team’s cluster is currently the most powerful compute resource at Drexel University, capable of delivering 176,514 GFLOPS of GPU performance. The system comprises 68,352 NVIDIA GPU cores and 48 TB RAID disk storage.

“I am impressed with the capabilities of the Advanced HPC team,” said Dr. McMillan. “They took the time to truly understand our requirements, and designed a system that was even better than our original specifications. We have an incredibly efficient cluster that exceeds our expectations, and has given us more bang for the buck.”

Bright Cluster Manager is used for remote provisioning, monitoring and managing the system. Dr. McMillan and his team were amongst the first to use Bright Cluster Manager revision 5.2, with its full support of NVIDIA’s CUDA 4.0 and associated metrics.

“Bright Cluster Manager was a good choice for us,” stated Dr. McMillan. “I’m a scientist, not a system manager. The Bright GUI is intuitive and extremely easy to use. I can do everything I need to do on the system remotely — I almost never visit our cluster. I get alerts when attention is required, and am able to hand off much of the overall system management with confidence to an enthusiastic undergraduate.”

“From a support perspective, Advanced HPC and Bright are a great team,” added Dr. McMillan. “Initially we experienced a problem with some of our jobs, and they responded immediately. As it turned out, the issue was a driver problem. The Bright people worked directly with NVIDIA to solve it — sparing us the pain and getting us productive again in a timely fashion.”

About Advanced HPC, Inc.

Advanced HPC is a provider of HPC platforms and Linux clusters. Their product scope spans Linux cluster solutions, high-performance servers and workstations, disk storage products such as Storage Area Networks (SAN), Network Attached Storage (NAS), and Direct Attached Storage (DAS), tape backup solutions from external tape drive to enterprise-class libraries, disk-to-disk-to-tape solutions and data deduplication solutions, backup software and virtualization solutions. Advanced HPC's team has over 50 years of experience in the technology industry and their staff includes industry veterans in sales, customer service and production to ensure that customers get the best solution to fit their needs.

About Bright Computing

Bright Computing is transforming the way clusters are managed in the modern data center. Founded in 2009, Bright’s award winning cluster management software lets users monitor and build clusters of any size that are easy to provision, operate, monitor, manage, and scale. Bright partners include Amazon, Cisco, Cray and Dell. Customers include Boeing, NASA, Roche, Stanford University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Bright’s technology is running in over 500 data centers all over the globe. Bright has been recognized as a Red Herring Top 100 company and a Deloitte Rising Star winner, and was named Bio-IT World’s “Best of Show.”

Pictures and screenshots of Bright Cluster Manager


For more information

Bright Computing, Inc.
Mr. Ian Lumb
2880 Zanker Road, Suite 203
San Jose, CA 95134
Tel: +1 408 520 9082