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A small mainframe group manages an IBM Corp. System z800 running z/OS. The group runs the university's core student record application but its primary workload is running the state's Medicaid app. The school has allocated 2.4TB of storage to the System z.

"With the student data and the Medicaid application, the mainframe is not going away," says Cannon, although the primary thrust of the Cyberinfrastructure initiative is away from the legacy environment (see "NSF Cyberinfrastructure," below).

NSF Cyberinfrastructure
The goal of the Cyberinfra-structure is to facilitate new apps, collaboration and interoperability across institutions and disciplines. It encompasses the following:
  • Computing cycles

  • Broadband networking

  • Massive storage

  • Managed information

  • Shared standards

  • Middleware

  • Basic apps for scientific computation
Source: National Science Foundation (NSF) Cyberinfrastructure Report

New data

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The showcase of the new Cyberinfrastructure is a 30,000 sq. ft., $25 million primary data center. It sports new power supplies, new UPS systems, dual/redundant everything, extensive FC wiring, and racks of servers and storage laid out along hot and cold aisles. Extra power, cooling and wiring capacity to support the most optimistic growth the university's provost ever envisioned are all incorporated in the design.

At the same time, Clemson has solved its power issues for some time to come. "We negotiated a deal with Duke Power [now called Duke Energy Corp.] to run our power and cooling and get us out of the power business. Duke can take us to 8Mw [megawatts]," says Bottum. Twenty TFLOPS, for comparison, draws just 130 kilowatts.

This was first published in January 2008

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