High Performance Computing

Swarthmore ITS provides access to high performance computing systems for computationally intensive projects. There are several different types of systems that are available for faculty, staff, and students.  Academic Technologists from ITS will work with you to figure out what resource would best match your project.

Strelka Computer Cluster

Campus researchers have access to Strelka, Swarthmore's computer cluster.  Learn more about the system on the Strelka Computer Cluster page.

Technical Specifications

The cluster consists of 18 nodes, each with two CPUs with an additional head node to handle user logins and job scheduling. 

  • 12 mid-memory nodes (384GB RAM)

  • 3 high-memory nodes (768GB RAM)

  • 1 high-CPU node (72 cores)

  • 2 GPU nodes, each with 4x NVIDIA 2080 Ti GPUs

  • Over 700TB storage

  • High speed Infiniband networking

Jobs are submitted through the Slurm job scheduling system.

National and Regional Supercomputing Resources

Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support (ACCESS) is an NSF-funded consortium which supports a network of shared supercomputing resources housed at major U.S. research institutions. Through ACCESS, member institutions gain access to flexible pools of time on large supercomputers. Using these systems, researchers are able to complete computational processes in one hour that would take a single desktop computer decades to complete.  Since joining in 2010, Swarthmore faculty and students from biology, chemistry, computer science, physics, and statistics made use of over several million processor-hours on supercomputing facilities around the United States. 

Systems available on ACCESS include:

  • Anvil, a supercomputer at the Perdue University with over 130,000 processor cores and almost 300TB of compute memory.

  • The Open Science Grid, consisting of a network of more than 60,000 computers available to run serial jobs with a short queue time.

  • Comet GPU, a system at the San Diego Supercomputing Center designed for working on problems requiring graphical processing units for accelerated computing.  

Swarthmore faculty and students have used ACCESS (and its precursors) for calculations of chemical structures, plasma physics simulations, and development of new computer science algorithms.

To learn more about ACCESS or get a ACCESS account, contact Jason Simms (jsimms1) in ITS.

High Throughput Computing Resources

If you have a large job that can be broken down into small, independent pieces, high throughput computing (HTC) may be a way to reduce the time needed for your calculation.  Instead of running a program on one large computer, you can create hundreds or thousands of small jobs that are sent to Open Science Grid (OSG), a set of thousands of computers across the country.  Anyone can create an account at OSG Connect and start submitting jobs using the HTCondor system.

To learn more about Open Science Grid contact Jason Simms (jsimms1) in ITS.

Local Resources

For special projects, Swarthmore ITS may be able provide access to the spare computer time in ITS classroom computers, servers, or on cloud-based services.  

Image and Video Processing

The ITS Media Center has a set of high-end computers that can be used for video editing, image processing, and other computationally-intensive processes.

Ways you can contact ITS or find information:

ITS Support Portal: https://support.swarthmore.edu
Email: support@swarthmore.edu
Phone: x4357 (HELP) or 610-328-8513
Check out our remote resources at https://swatkb.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/remote/overview
Check our homepage at https://swarthmore.edu/its