Southern grid net adds supercomputers

SURAgrid brings together 24 Southern universities onto shared supercomputer network.

What can the combined efforts of more than 24 Southern universities do with the ability to do 10 trillion calculations per second? For starters, they can trace the shape of star systems millions of miles away, better predict hurricanes, magnify the inner workings of the tiny molecules in prescription drugs, and perform other mind-boggling calculations, reports eSchool News.

This new supercomputing grid, initiated by the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA), currently is comprised of 24 colleges and universities in 15 states and will allow access to a lightning-fast computing network for research projects.

"The old model used to be that every researcher got his own computer," said Art Vandenberg, director of advanced campus services at Georgia State. "But by partnering, we create a fabric we can all get to."

The project started about three years ago is called SURAgrid. IBM has provided the bulk of the hardware at a deep discount. The addition of the supercomputers doubles the grid's capabilities.

"This is the Internet equivalent of a 100-lane highway," said Greg Kubiak, director of relations and communications for SURA.

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