The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has awarded Appro a contract to deliver high-performance computing systems to its three nuclear weapons laboratories. The $26.1 million contract, to provide high-performance computing to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories, will standardize computing systems among the three labs. Each laboratory has used its own machines, with different hardware and operating systems that were not always compatible. NNSA said that it can improve efficiencies and cut the total cost of ownership by 30% to 50% by standardizing hardware, operating systems, and software. "This is the first time NNSA has awarded a single contract for all three laboratories," Martin Schoenbauer, NNSA's principal assistant deputy administrator for operations in the office of defense programs, said in a statement. "Combining the contract for each of NNSA's three laboratories not only saves money, but continues to move NNSA towards a smaller more efficient nuclear weapons complex." The labs make up NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing Program and perform advanced simulations of nuclear weapons. The simulations are a crucial part of the Stockpile Stewardship Program, which aims to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear deterrent without underground testing. The new computers will provide capacity to run larger numbers of jobs that require high-performance machines. That will allow NNSA's supercomputers, or "capability" computer systems, to tackle larger, more complex calculations critical to stockpile stewardship, NNSA said. Appro, based in Milpitas, Calif., will provide systems compiled of modular, scalable units that can be rapidly configured, "lego style," into clusters of various sizes and strength. Each scalable unit represents about 20 trillion floating-point operations per second (teraflops) of computing power.
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