Supercomputer Brings Data Analysis to the Masses

Crunching large sets of data has been co-opted in Tulsa with the recent opening and dedication of the Tandy Community Supercomputer in the City Hall data center. The $3.5 million supercomputer is considered the first of its kind in the U.S. and will allow businesses, researchers and startups to converge at One Technology Center to complete studies and actualize information in ways many hadn’t imagined. And for budding software companies like Tulsa’s Medefy, having the opportunity to access the 102 active nodes with the power to transmit the equivalent of eight DVDs of data per second at no cost gives the owners access previously beyond its grasp. “Before built this, we had no way of mass-crunching the health care data that we have,” said Nathan Gilchrist, chief operating officer at Medefy. “It either had to be done through extremely expensive rentals on other computers, or we’d use our own systems, which takes a really long time.”

Medefy works with self-insured companies to bring transparency over what providers charge for medical services. CEO Matt Scovil said the nearly two-year-old company is working with OII to get their data sets and systems configured to work with the supercomputer. Actual involvement with the nodes is expected to begin this summer. “Currently we crunch a lot of health care data. A lot of health care data,” he said. “Even our small samples for our alpha program take hours to run on our computer. But something like this could be done in seconds. And when we go larger, we’re going to need an increase in power, which is why we’re interested in the supercomputer because it’s very scalable.”

Now open, the Tandy Supercomputer costs $10,000 per node — equal in speed to about two desktop computers — with an annual maintenance fee […]

May 30th, 2013|News|0 Comments

Supercomputer Opens to the Public

Two major research projects from OU-Tulsa are already lined up to use the new Tandy Community Supercomputer, says Gerry Clancy, president of the school. The first is a project to calculate the exact impact that electronic devices transmitting radio waves have on one another. The second will be projecting individual and community health models for two decades or more into the future. “Can you imagine how great it would be to be able to figure out how many people in Tulsa will have lung cancer or uterine cancer in 20 years?” Clancy said.

Tulsa’s first supercomputer officially opened to the public Thursday. The $3.5 million project was paid for with $2 million from the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation, public grants and other donations. Barry Davis, board chairman of the Oklahoma Innovation Institute, said the supercomputer project has been in the works since 2006. The massive collection of data servers and processors will be able to do more than 35 trillion calculations per second, performing operations that can take months on many industrial computers and cutting that time into just weeks.

The system is housed at City Hall–One Technology Center–near the city’s own data servers. The specialty facility is needed for the servers, which heat immensely and require about 300 kilowatts to pump 160 gallons of water around the computing hardware. Technically it will still be a few weeks before the Oklahoma Innovation Institute starts granting full public access to the machine. Then it will have five full-time staffers to provide technical support and training.

David Greer, executive director of the University of Tulsa’s Institute for Information Security, said the computer will be used to enhance the Tulsa area’s research sector. He said there has been interest from energy companies to conduct studies on drilling and exploration, and project leaders hope the system can harbor more investment […]

May 24th, 2013|News|0 Comments

Community Supercomputer Unveiled in Tulsa

It may be a world-wide first–a Tulsa supercomputer was unveiled Thursday, and it’s open to the public. The computer, usually reserved for big companies, is now available for Oklahoma’s universities, businesses and entrepreneurs. “Personally it’s very exciting to get to use something like this, and be able to work on it and have it in my backyard,” said George Louthan.

Louthan is the computer scientist in charge of the brand new Tandy Community Supercomputer, located in the Tandy Supercomputing Center in downtown Tulsa. The most important word in that very long sentence is “community.” Theoretically, it’s available to anyone in the community. “We want to be a tech based incubator for small business or start-ups,” Louthan said.

Tulsa News on 6
Rick Wells
May 23, 2013

May 23rd, 2013|News|0 Comments
    Permalink Gallery

    Tandy Community Supercomputer to have Public Dedication Thursday in Tulsa


Tandy Community Supercomputer to have Public Dedication Thursday in Tulsa

There are a number of supercomputers in place across the country – you just can’t get to them unless you’re an employee or faculty member of the right institution. Yet the Tandy Community Supercomputer will be readily accessible to everyone in the area, which may be a first for the world, said George Louthan, director of the supercomputer. “To our knowledge, there’s nothing like this out there,” he said. “We’re the first that treats academics, business and the public as equals.”

The $3.5 million Tandy Community Supercomputer, a massively powerful machine that can be used by local universities, corporations, small businesses and entrepreneurs, is set to have its public dedication Thursday at its home at One Technology Center in downtown Tulsa.

The supercomputer will begin welcoming its first business users by the end of June, but the Oklahoma Innovation Institute’s Tulsa Research Partners – which include members from the University of Tulsa, the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, Oklahoma State University at Tulsa and Tulsa Community College – have already been using it for the past month. Barry Davis, chairman of the Oklahoma Innovation Institute, said the supercomputer was purposefully limited to academic use for the start of its life to work out kinks and get the hang of using it, but OII will soon start actively marketing it for business use. “We’ve already got three companies lining up to the door,” he said.

Davis said the goal of the supercomputer is to help create a research industry in Tulsa and bring jobs to the area. To facilitate that goal and make the supercomputer’s use less intimidating for those without an IT background, a permanent staff of four – soon to grow to seven – will be on hand to help people use it effectively, said David Greer, executive director of OII. “We want to provide guidance and mentorship […]

May 21st, 2013|News|0 Comments