FutureGrid Hardware


This page is incomplete and images and links may not work.

FutureGrid was built out of a number of clusters of different types and sizes that are interconnected with up to a 10GB Ethernet between its sites.

The sites include Indiana University, University of Chicago, San Diego Supercomputing Center, Texas Advanced Computing Center, and University of Florida.

Compute Resources

The tables t-futuregrid-clusters and t-futuregrid-clusters-details show an overview of some imporatnt information about these clusters.

FutureGrid systems team members are working on enhancements that could lead to increase in the number of cores, memory size, and scratch space. We will keep you up to date on the developments.

Storage Resources
System Type Capacity (TB) File System Site
DDN 9550 339 shared with IU + Luster IU
Data Capacitor 16 TB dedicated    
DDN 6620 120 GPFS UC
SunFire x4540 96 ZFS SDSC
Dell MD3000 30 NFS TACC
IBM dx360 M3 24 NFS UF


Resource Name Network Devices    
IU Cray Cray 2D Torus SeaStar    
IU iDataPlex DDR IB QLogic switch with Mellanox ConnectX adapters Blade Network Technologies & Force10 Ethernet switches
SDSC DDR IB Cisco switch with Mellanox ConnectX adapters Juniper Ethernet switches
TACC QDR IB Mellanox switches and adapters Dell Ethernet switches
UC DDR IB QLogic switch with Mellanox ConnectX adapters Blade Network Technologies & Juniper switches
UF Ethernet only (Blade Network Technologies & Force10 switches)    

The FutureGrid network provides connectivity among FutureGrid participants, and network access to the Network Impairments Device (NID). Five participants connect through a variety of network providers (see Figure: Logical Network Diagram). Interconnects at the Indiana Gigapop, Internet2 and NLR extend access to FutureGrid resources to researchers nationally and internationally.


Figure: Logical Network Diagram


Figure: Juniper EX8208


inaccurate atlas diagram, can not change as network group has no info, however wil lead to confusion, needs to be stated


proxy router is mentioned, but we seem only to have dosabled commands, which commands can users do?

FutureGrid deployed a Juniper EX8208 at the Core in Chicago’s StarLight facility. The Juniper EX series provides for Layer2 and Layer3 connectivity. FutureGrid uses the EX to fulfill the network services (i.e., interconnectivity and external connectivity). The EX provides a special feature labeled ‘firewall based forwarding’, allowing seamless integration with network impairments. The GlobalNOC at Indiana University provides network engineering services, and email and phone support. GlobalNOC resources for public WAN information can be found at http://noc.futuregrid.org/. Available tools include:

Image Tool Description
image-gnoc-traffic FutureGrid Atlas View the current level of FutureGrid Network traffic as displayed on a geographical map.
image-gnoc-snap SNAPP Traffic Graphs View high-speed traffic graphs collected at one-minute samples using the Indiana University-developed SNAPP tool. Create custom views of the FutureGrid network and view historic utilization with greater data resolution.
image-gnoc-proxy FutureGrid NOC Router Proxy Submit show commands to the FutureGrid router.
image8 FutureGrid Physical Map TBD
image9 FutureGrid Topology Map TBD

As IPv6 test beds are not available at all FutureGrid partner sites, early implementation of iPv6 would slow important software development work. As a result, current plans call for FutureGrid to continue using IPv4.

Below is further information about networking:

Resource Network Switch Link
FutureGrid Core Juniper EX8200  
India Force10 C-150 Juniper/Dell EX series Force 10
Bravo Force10 S60 force10-s60
Delta Force10 S60  
Echo Force10 S60  
Sierra Juniper EX4200  
Hotel Juniper EX4200  
Alamo Dell PowerConnect 6000 Series Dell, PowerConnect
Alamo Dell PowerConnect 6224  
Xray Force10, C-150 Force10-c150
foxtrot internal network switch: IBM/BLADE Rack Switch G8000 and public network switch: Force10 S50  
Node NICs built-in (IBM iDataPlex DX360 M2) dual Intel 82575EB Gigabit Network Connection 10Gbps, Myricom Myri-10G Dual-Protocol NIC (available on login node)  


network swithes inside india not corerct


unkown switch, hotel india, foxtrot? IBM rack switches (formerly BNT)

Network Impairments Device (NID)

Researchers on FutureGrid may periodically employ the use of a Spirent XGEM, a Network Impairments Emulator. The XGEM allows users to accurately create the delays and impairments that occur over live production networks for validating and evaluating new products and technologies. The XGEM supports a variety of impairments with the most common being delay, packet loss, jitter and re-ordering.


Figure: Spirent XGEM

The XGEM contains two blades, each with a 10GE interface. Traffic received on one blade is automatically transmitted on the other blade, and vice-versa. This allows the XGEM to be deployed as a pass-through device. Impairments are applied unidirectionally. An identical or different impairment can be applied in either direction, or simultaneously in both directions.

FutureGrid also utilizes a Juniper EX8208 as the primary network element between all of the FutureGrid participants. Juniper’s EX platform contains firewall-based forwarding, which allows us to insert the XGEM between FutureGrid participants with only software changes (see Figure 1).

The firewall-based forwarding feature can be configured to forward traffic unidirectionally or bidirectionally through the XGEM using a single IP address or any size subnet. Only traffic defined by the Juniper EX8208 will be impaired, leaving all other traffic between FutureGrid participants unaffected.

This implementation requires traffic to traverse the FutureGrid Core in order to be impaired. Additional configuration might be required at the participants’ individual sites for impairments to occur locally.