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 IU Trident Indiana University

UITS Research Technologies

Cyberinfrastructure enabling research and creative activities

Big Red at IU


Big Red - IBM BladeCenter JS21 Cluster

Big Red is one of the most powerful university-owned computers in the US. Part of a comprehensive strategy to build an advanced cyberinfrastructure to support research at Indiana University, Big Red has a theoretical peak performance of more than 40 teraflops, and has achieved more than 28 teraflops on numerical computations. Big Red is a distributed shared-memory cluster, consisting of 1024 IBM JS21 Blades, each with two dual-core PowerPC 970 MP processors, 8GB of memory, and a PCI-X Myrinet 2000 adapter for high-bandwidth, low-latency MPI applications. In addition to local scratch disks, the Big Red compute nodes are connected via gigabit Ethernet to a 346TB GPFS file system, hosted on 16 IBM p505 Power5 systems.  For more details on the hardware configuration see Big Red's system information.

The Big Red cluster runs the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server operating system. Batch jobs are managed with IBM's LoadLeveler and the Moab Workload Manager.

Big Red is configured for massively parallel computing. User support, including migrating code to Big Red and parallelizing it, is available from the High Performance Applications team.

NOTE:  Indiana University will be retiring the compute resource BigRed from the TeraGrid on July 31, 2011. After that date, TeraGrid accounts will no longer be able to submit jobs and all TeraGrid allocations will be invalid on BigRed. Login access to BigRed through the TeraGrid User Portal will be disabled on July 31, but logins through ssh keys or GSISSH to BigRed for TeraGrid users will remain for another three months. All data stored in TeraGrid accounts on BigRed should be backed up prior to October 31, 2011.

If you have any questions or concerns about BigRed’’s retirement from the TeraGrid, please contact

Getting Started

Getting Started

Accounts on Big Red are available to IU graduate students, faculty and staff. Undergraduate students must have a faculty sponsor. You can apply for an account through the Account Management Service.

Already have an account and need help getting started?  See the Knowledge Base article Getting Started on Big Red.

Learn more about home directories, CPU limits computational resources by reading the Big Red Usage Policies.

For information on batch jobs, see Batch jobs on Big Red.


Acknowledgment of funding in published work

The facilities supported by the Research Technologies division at Indiana University are supported by a number of grants. These grants require that support from them be acknowledged. For statements on how to acknowledge funding sources for Big Red in your published work, see If I use IU's research computers, what sources of funding do I need to acknowledge in my published work?

Big Red

Vendor Documentation

See Big Red Vendor Documentation for detailed information about the BladeCenter JS21, the PowerPC Microprocessor, and Myrinet Express.
Blade computer

Scheduled Monthly Maintenance

The maintenance window for Big Red is the first Tuesday of each month, 7am-7pm.