UT Austin tends not to do things by half measures, as illustrated by the Texas Advanced Computing Center
, which has been home to an evolving family of supercomputing clusters. The latest of these, Stampede, was first mentioned here back in 2011
, before it was actually constructed. In the time since, Stampede has been not only completed, but upgraded; it's just successfully completed a successful six months since its last major update — the labor-intensive installation of Xeon Phi processors throughout 106 densely packed racks. I visited TACC, camera in hand, to take a look at this megawatt-eating electronic hive (well, herd) and talk with director of high-performance computing Bill Barth
, who has insight into what it's like both as an end-user (both commercial and academic projects get to use Stampede) and as an administrator on such a big system.