"These tools -- such as a browser-based source code editor, online collaboration utilities, and virtualized build and runtime environment management interfaces -- will allow developers to more efficiently create and modify a wide variety of high-performance computing (HPC) applications," Parabon states in an announcement of the NASA contract.
Frontier can be used to harness the unused CPU power of desktops and servers, Armentrout notes.
"I believe they [NASA] have 80,000 desktops," he says. "If they were to put Frontier on all 80,000 they would have one of the fastest supercomputers in the world."
Although the system will initially run climate models, it can be used for many types of scientific research.
"If it's successful, and that's a big if, we could be buying our compute cycles over the network, as opposed to just having them in-house, or it could be a combination of the two," Seablom says. "The important thing for the taxpayer is we think this will save money."
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