When I get asked what I do (well, I should really say I’m a musician or a father or something like that) I say I’m in computers … then the questions start. Then I have to explain I don’t work with computers like your laptop, I work on high performance computing (HPC) clusters. HPC clusters are what scientists use to run HUGE problems on.
The image above is the output of some monitoring and testing of a system I just installed and the performance that it’s achieving. This particular system has 94 distinct servers that contain a total of 5,888 GB of RAM and 1128 processors all connected with a network running at 40 Gbps (that would be like 40 connections from Google Fiber all at once). The performance is measure in floating point operations per second (FLOPs). This system is running at 19 TFLOPs or 19,000 GFLOPs or 19,000,000,000,000 distinct operations on a floating point number PER SECOND. For comparison, my new MacBook Air will do around .0020 TFLOPs.