The Cornell University Center for Advanced Computing (CAC) is a leader in high-performance computing systems, applications, and data solutions that enable research success. As an early technology adopter, CAC helps scientists and engineers accelerate discovery. As an educational leader, CAC delivers education, outreach and training (EOT) services efficiently and effectively.
Located on the Ithaca, NY campus of Cornell University, CAC serves the computational and data needs of Cornell faculty, staff, and student researchers and their collaborators – from astronomers searching for pulsars to physicists analyzing high energy collisions, from life scientists analyzing gene sequences to social scientists securely mining US Census data. CAC collaborates with industry through its corporate program.
The Center operates and maintains high-performance computing (HPC) systems and cloud computing services running CentOS, Red Hat Linux, Hadoop, Eucalyptus, and other computing platforms. CAC staff provides services in architecture design and planning, application porting, tuning and optimization, computer programming, code parallelization, database design, workflow management, Web portal design, and visualization. Storage systems are available at the petabyte scale. The Research Data Management Service Group provides comprehensive data management and planning services.
CAC staff delivers educational programs to improve the skills of HPC practitioners and to prepare students for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. CAC was selected to provide National Science Foundation-sponsored classroom and online training for the “Stampede” supercomputer project. CAC also delivers HPC training to DOD researchers using the Cornell Virtual Workshop online learning platform. This platform can deliver subject matter from any field for broader impact. CAC staff teaches courses in Computing and Information Science, Physics, and other departments. The Center also hosts and teaches seminars on emerging research technologies.
The Center’s historic firsts include: first of 5 U.S. supercomputing centers, first IBM SP1 and SP2 deployments, first Dell supercomputer deployment, largest Web server in the world deployed at the US Olympics, best simulation of the folding of the protein HDEA from the bacteria e. coli, first parallel version of MATLAB, the first scheduler for Windows clusters, and first financial solutions center focused on risk management. Awards include a Computerworld Smithsonian Laureate Award for the visionary use of information technology, a 2011 IDC HPC Innovation Excellence Award – sponsored by the Council on Competitiveness, DOD, DOE, NSF, and industry – for breakthrough research on an experimental Software-as-a-Service resource, and a 2012 Red Hat Innovation Award for best storage implementation.
CAC is on the eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) team selected by the National Science Foundation to replace and enhance the TeraGrid with a powerful and robust collection of integrated advanced digital resources and services. CAC director David Lifka was named architecture and design coordinator for XSEDE. CAC staff is developing educational programs for XSEDE, a systems reliability analysis tool, and a Rocks Cluster Distribution Roll to support XSEDE Campus Bridging.
CAC recently launched Red Cloud, an on-demand cloud computing service configured specifically for research. Red Cloud delivers Software as a Service, e.g., MATLAB, and Infrastructure as Service capabilities to academic and industry researchers at Cornell and across the nation.
CAC is a core cyberinfrastructure service facility specializing in computational and data-intensive intensive research. The Center receives funding from the Cornell University Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, with additional funding from the National Science Foundation and leading public agencies, foundations, and corporations.
Cornell University faculty and staff that use CAC resources currently have over $100 million in sponsored program research awards from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other public and private funding agencies. CAC industry partners include Avere Systems, Boeing, Corning, Dell, Eucalyptus, HPTi, Intel, MathWorks, Microsoft, NVIDIA, and SQLstream.