Distributed ASCI Supercomputer (DAS) system

What is it?

Like any science that heavily uses experimentation, computer science depends on high-quality physical research infrastructures. Already a few years into its existence, the Research School ASCI recognized that the availability of an experimental infrastructure for computer science research would be very beneficial for its members. Therefore, in 1997, it launched its Distributed ASCI Supercomputer (DAS) project, in which it has by now built five generations of the DAS wide-area distributed system with funding from NWO and matching from the project participants. The six-cluster DAS5 has been in operation since 2015, and the DAS6, for which funding has been secured, will put into operation in 2020. The DAS projects have been extremely successful: 150 completed PhD theses, both on topics in parallel and distributed computing and in imaging and multimedia analysis have critically depended on the availability of its first five generations.

DAS4-VU-1

Where is it?

The goal of the current DAS5 system is to provide a common computational infrastructure for researchers within ASCI, who work on various aspects of parallel, distributed, and cloud computing, and large-scale multimedia content analysis. It includes roughly 200 dual-eight-core compute nodes (primarily ASUS nodes with Intel E5-2630v3 CPUs), spread across six clusters located at the five partner sites:

  1. Delft University of Technology
  2. Leiden University
  3. Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)
  4. University of Amsterdam (two clusters)
  5. VU University Amsterdam

For whom?

The following groups of people may request a login account on the DAS5 system:

  • Faculty and PhD students who are members of the ASCI research school.
  • Faculty and PhD students of the ASCI partner universities.
  • ASTRON employees.
  • NLeSC employees.

Send an e-mail and include your affiliation and planned purpose of your account. In case you are a (PhD) student, specify the course or project your account is needed for, and the faculty member acting as your advisor.

Information

Visit the DAS System website for more detailed information.

DAS System in the media

Netherlands eScience Center, October 2018

The Dutch Science organization NWO has announced that the DAS-6 proposal submitted by the DAS steering committee, headed by prof. Henri Bal of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, will receive EUR 500.000 funding to build the next-generation high performance computing infrastructure. Read the full article here.

I/O Magazine, December 2015 (Dutch)

More than a hundred dissertations have already left the printer thanks to the supercomputer DAS. The latest version, DAS-5, ensures that Dutch computer research remains at the top international level. The emphasis of the research will be on big data, cloud computing and many core processors. Read the full article in Dutch here.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

The overview article: A Medium-Scale Distributed System for Computer Science Research: Infrastructure for the Long Term provides the rationale of the DAS project, a description of the structure of the first five generations of the DAS, and a glimpse of the research performed with them.