In 2002, Argonne National Laboratory established the Laboratory Computing Project to enable and promote the use of high-performance computing (HPC) across the Laboratory in support of its varied research missions.
The Laboratory Computing Resource Center was established, and in April 2003 LCRC began full operations with Argonne’s first teraflop computing cluster, Jazz. In 2010, Jazz was replaced by Fusion, with a peak performance of 30 teraflops. In late 2012, the Blues cluster replaced Fusion as LCRC’s primary computing resource, with a peak performance of 108 teraflops, and continues to grow. In early 2017, Fusion was retired to make way for Bebop, with a peak performance of 1 petaflop.
LCRC’s initial objectives were to operate the computing facility, educate staff and students about HPC, and support application use and development. That approach has been very successful, and today every Argonne research division uses LCRC. As an added benefit, experience with LCRC provided the model for other facilities, e.g., TRACC, and essential expertise that helped make ALCF possible.
LCRC is available to the entire Laboratory community and their collaborators. LCRC staff continues to provide training in high-performance computing and guidance on application usage, code porting, and algorithm development. Often, LCRC is the first large cluster people have used, and the largest computer available to them. In many cases, LCRC has been the stepping stone for development of codes that now run at petascale at ALCF and other centers.
- Provide mid-range supercomputing resources for Laboratory research projects, expanding our research horizons, supporting laboratory initiatives, and making us more competitive.
- Provide user assistance and training, making science and engineering projects more successful and productive.
- Provide a spectrum of scalable applications and tools, and train people to use them, enabling larger and more complex studies.
- Promote datacenter efficiency and consolidation, e.g., via programmatic additions to Blues and Fusion dedicated to specific projects.