The University of Mississippi
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Computing Facilities

The department currently maintains a parallel computing facility that consists of a Grid-based network of Linux-based computers. This computing farm is used to analyze data from experiments conducted here and at remote sites.

Current UMiss Grid Computing "Farm" (2005-Present)

  • The Grid Computing Center here at the University of Mississippi is a high performance computing facility established for high energy physics research. This facility is a proud member of DOSAR, currently involved in data processing and simulation for CMS experiment at CERN, outside of Geneva Switzerland and the experiment at Fermi National Accelerator Lab (FNAL) near Chicago.

    Linux farm

    Our current hardware includes:

    • 4 Dual 12-core 2.1 GHz AMD Opteron 1U Grid Nodes
    • 24 Dual 2.2 GHz AMD Opteron 1U Grid Nodes
    • 3 Dual 1.6 GHz AMD Opteron 4U Administrative Nodes
    • 1 Dual 2.4 GHz AMD Opteron 5U 8TB Storage Server

    We have full gigabit connectivity with a 10 gbit backbone locally and 1 gbit fiber to the University of Mississippi backbone.

    Our Internet2 connection is currently a GbE, 1 gigabit pipe.

Original UMiss 2800 MIP Data Reconstruction "Farm" (1991-2005)

  • The 2800 MIP "farm" was divided into four separate "farms" (Charm, Higgs, Sigma, and Omega) each with its own server and approximately 3.5 GB scratch disk plus server disk. There was one full-time system manager. It was accessible via Internet (@higgs1.phy.olemiss.edu).

    DECstation farm
    • 66 DECstation 5000s
    • 49 older (1 year) MIPS R3000 CPUs
    • 17 newer MIPS 50 MHz R4000 CPUs
    • 36 Exabyte 8200 Tape Drives
    • 4 Tape Autoloaders (10 tape capacity each)
    • 25 GB Total Disk Capacity
    • $400K Approximate Cost for Hardware/Software
    • UMiss VAXstation 4000, which served as our primary mail node and VMS platform. It is accessible via Internet (@umsphy.phy.olemiss.edu) and BITNET (@umsphy).

    Reconfigured in 1997:

    UMiss Data Filtering "Farm"

    The Filtering "farm" was divided into two separate "farms" (Sigma and Omega) each with its own server and two 6 GB scratch disks each divided into 3 2-GB partitions.

    • 16 DECstation 5000s
    • 14 newer MIPS 50 MHz R4000 CPUs - 1 server + 6 filtering nodes per "Farm"
    • 2 older (1 year) MIPS R3000 CPUs used as disk servers
    • 12 Exabyte 8200 Tape Drives
    • 2 Exabyte 8700LT Tape Drives
    • 24 GB Total Disk Capacity

    UMiss Monte Carlo Simulation "Farm"

    The Monte Carlo "farm" was divided into two separate "farms" (Charm and Higgs) each with its own server and one 6 GB scratch disks, divided into 3 2-GB partitions.


Other computing facilities include:

  • Our departmental mail and web server, Relativity

    • Relativity serves as our departmental mail and web server, and also has a ten tape loader that uses 160/320 GB tapes for our nightly departmental backup process.

    • Relativity's specifications:

      • Dual 1.6 GHz AMD Opteron processor.
      • 2 GB RAM, 4 GB swap space.
      • Dual-250 GB (mirrored) hard disk space.
      • OS: Linux 2.6.9 (SL5)
      • Installed Software:
        • Apache 2.2.3 - web server
        • BIND 9.3.6 - DNS server
        • Mailman 2.1.9 - mailing list manager
        • NTP 4.2.2 - Network time protocol server
        • OpenSSH 4.3 - secure shell server
        • Postfix 2.3.3 - mail server
        • MailScanner 4.76.25 - spam filter

      Relativity handles all mail addressed to the phy.olemiss.edu domain, serves departmental web pages at www.phy.olemiss.edu, and provides other network services to departmental clients.

  • Several computer labs for undergraduate courses, equipped with Macintosh and PC computers.
  • Workstations used by various research groups.

In addition, the Mississippi Center for Supercomputing Research provides several minicomputers and mainframes that are available to departmental researchers.