ICS@PSU: Institute for CyberScience


Our Location

The ICS-ACI administrative staff resides at the Computer Building on Penn State’s University Park Campus. The ICS-ACI physical infrastructure is also located at the University Park Campus within a state-of-the-art data center for Penn State research and academic computing resources. The data center provides 2MW of redundant power and 12,000 sq ft of environmentally controlled space. Approximately 50% of the facility’s power and equipment resources are dedicated to support the ICS-ACI system infrastructure.

Our Compute Resources

ICS-ACI operates over 23,000 Basic, Standard and High Memory cores to support Penn State research. The server architecture is dual 10- or 12-core Xeon E5-2680 processors for Basic and Standard memory configurations, and quad 10-core Xeon E7-4830 processors for High Memory. The Basic, Standard, and High-memory configurations are 128 GB, 256 GB, and 1 TB respectively.

Operating System

The computing environment is operated by Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.


ICS-ACI provides a High Performance Storage Archive (ACI-HPSA) capability that supports users’ processing and research needs for data storage. The ACI-HPSA infrastructure includes GPFS, CNFS, and CIFS clustered files systems that interconnect across high speed Ethernet, Infiniband, and Fibre Channel network fabrics. The ACI-HPSA architecture consists of:

  1. Active storage pools that provide access to Home, Work, Group, and Scratch directories;
  2. Near-line storage pools that provide a long-term and archive storage repository for files that are not needed real-time to support ongoing research efforts;
  3. Data management nodes that enable users to move data between the storage pools. Users have access to data that is stored in the Active storage pools and the Near-line storage pools without requiring administrative support.


The ICS-ACI network architecture utilizes high performance Ethernet fabric, Infiniband, and Fibre Channel network protocols to complement specific data processing and storage capabilities.

The high-performance Ethernet network is built on Brocade VCS Fabric Technology and supports connectivity for all processing nodes that are within the ICS-ACI system boundary. A VCS “fabric” provides a flexible interconnecting network between individual switches, creating a virtual cluster of physical switches. The current ICS-ACI VCS network fabric includes:

  • Brocade VDX 6940 switches that provide Layer 3 routing and are configured with 10/40/100 Gb network link capacity
  • Brocade VDX 8770-8 Enterprise-level switches that are configured with 10/40/100 Gb network link capacity
  • Brocade VDX 6740 switches that provide 10 Gb link capacity
  • Dell N2024 switches for host iDRAC (integrated DELL Remote Access Controller) remote management over Gb link capacity

ICS-ACI uses Mellanox® FDR (Fourteen Data Rate) Infiniband interconnects for high performance compute and storage network connectivity. FDR Infiniband provides high-bandwidth, low-latency connections for all Standard and High-memory-processor nodes and their associated storage systems.

ACI-i (Interactive) Systems

ACI-i provides a set of interactive cores that are configured as common GUI interactive systems. ACI-i is intended for users who want to test their code before running their jobs on ACI-b, users who have small jobs that don’t require the compute resources on ACI-b, and for pre- and post-processing.

ACI-b (Batch) System

ACI-b is configured to support traditional “batch processing” jobs. Users may submit jobs to a variety of queues. Users with specified core allocations are guaranteed start times and job priority. Users may burst up to four times their core allocation within ACI-b. Exceptions may be made upon special request and should be submitted to iASK@ics.psu.edu. There is no wall time limit on guaranteed or burst jobs provided the user has core allocation time remaining. Users without a core allocation can submit their jobs to the ACI-b open queue, which provides computing resources based on system availability.

Penn State Institute for CyberScience

Help us build the future. Contact ICS at Penn State.

  • email: ics@psu.edu
  • phone: ICS-ACI Support (i-ASK Center): 814-865-4275 | General Inquiries: 814-867-1467

August 2017

  • Aug 21, 2017 - Aug 25, 201712:00 am

    SAMSI Program on Mathematical and Statistical Methods for Climate and the Earth System

    The Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute …

    More Info
  • Aug 20, 2017 - Aug 21, 20179:00 am - 5:30 pm

    Neuroinformatics 2017 Conference

    This congress of the international Neuroinformatics Coordina…

    More Info
  • Jul 31, 2017 - Aug 4, 20178:30 am - 5:00 pm

    TACC Parallel Programming Foundations Institute

    This 5-day workshop with TACC (Texas Advanced Computing Cent…

    More Info
  • Aug 15, 201711:00 am - 5:00 pm

    XSEDE HPC Monthly Workshop – OpenMP

    This workshop is intended to give C and Fortran programmers …

    More Info
  • Aug 10, 20171:30 pm - 2:30 pm

    Big Decision – Choosing Your HPC Resources Wisely

    Does your research involve big data and high-performance com…

    More Info
  • Aug 22, 201712:00 pm - 2:00 pm

    NSF/NSF China Joint Research on Environmental Sustainability Challenges

    The Penn State Sustainability Institute, Institute for Energ…

    More Info