Rutgers students, researchers, and faculty utilizing Amarel
Rutgers departments, schools, centers, and institutes performing work on Amarel
Core compute hours since 2016
In July 2017, the Office of Advanced Research Computing (OARC) unveiled Amarel, a “condominium” style computing environment developed to serve the university’s wide-ranging research needs. The Amarel cluster provides a shared platform that optimizes resources for the benefit of all users. Named in honor of Dr. Saul Amarel, one of the founders of the Rutgers Computer Science Department and contributor to advanced computing and artificial intelligence research and methodologies, Amarel is designed to suit many different research applications.
Through Phase 5 (late 2021):
- 700 compute nodes
- 20,980 Intel Xeon cores
- 190 GPUs
- Open OnDemand servers
- InfiniBand FDR & EDR fabric
- Community-contributed software repository
- Spans three Rutgers data centers (Piscataway, Newark, and Camden) producing a unified compute, data, and storage system
- Rolling node/phase retirement with new node replacement, beginning in spring 2021
The Amarel model
Amarel is a shared community-owned advanced computing environment available to any investigator or student with projects requiring research computing resources. The model is distinguished by a set of uniform technical and policy elements that, while sufficiently flexible to support the degree of heterogeneity inherent in the Rutgers environment, affords a level of standardization that greatly simplifies management procedures, troubleshooting, and provides a more seamless user experience.
High Throughput Computing (HTC)
Large memory systems
Accelerators (GPGPUs, XEON PHIs, FPGAs)
The ability to couple with edge devices
Access to Amarel
While general access use is available to the entire Rutgers community, investigators can become condominium owners through a university-sponsored matching program. Owners have highest priority and are guaranteed access commensurate with their investment. Owner allocations are designed to feel as close to a locally maintained and managed system as possible, but with unused cycles being available to the general pool. Free access is available on a first come first served basis to the Rutgers community utilizing general pooled resources under an open access policy. Non-owner jobs can be preempted immediately by higher priority (owner) jobs.
Become an Amarel owner
Current hardware specs
In 2021, OARC completed procurement and installation of its annual hardware, compute nodes, and storage assets for Amarel’s Phase 5. Because demand was so high and the Phase 5 nodes sold out immediately, we were prompted to undergo an unprecedented second “buy” in 2021. We then began calling the first 2021 acquisition Phase 5A and the second, Phase 5B.
Phase 5A rolled out to owners and the university community in early 2022. As of summer 2022, we have purchased Phase 5B hardware, which is expected to be installed and available prior to the end of the year. Like in 5A, Phase 5B demand was high and researcher nodes immediately sold out. We are now in our 2022 buying cycle, with plans to increase Amarel availability as quickly as possible, dependent upon current data center constraints. Stay tuned for the Phase 6 buy-in announcement to the community, in late 2022!
Phase 5B compute nodes include the following:
- 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8358 (Ice Lake) Processors (48MB cache, 2.60GHz): 3200 MHz DDR4 memory 32-core processors (64 cores/node)
- 16x16GB DIMMS (256GB/node)
- 480GB SSD on-board drive
- 10GigE and Infiniband HDR (100Gb/s) adapters
The cost of node ownership ($7,917 per node in Phase 5) is based upon a four-year fully warrantied node lifetime. New owners receive 1 complimentary terabyte of storage with their first purchase. Additional /project storage space is currently offered at $150/TB for Amarel owners.
NOTE: If you plan to use software on the cluster that requires special licensing, configuration, or data transfer support (e.g., something more complex than open source software you can install in your personal directory), the feasibility of installing and running that software must be evaluated by our infrastructure team. We have encountered software packages requiring remote authentication schemes, data transfer capability from compute nodes, and persistent local services like web servers that our cluster’s environment cannot support.
For more information, or to discuss your interest in becoming an Amarel owner, contact us.