Computer will help Tulsa groups
TULSA — The big truck that pulled up to city hall last week unloaded a massive amount of computer servers and other technical equipment.
But Barry Davis, chairman of the Oklahoma Innovation Institute, said he saw something different.
“When I saw the trailer, I said, ‘Here comes the future of Tulsa.'”
The equipment will be assembled to create the Tandy Community Supercomputer, a massively powerful machine that can be used by local universities, corporations, small businesses and entrepreneurs.
After a period of assembly, configuration and testing, the supercomputer — thought to be the first community supercomputer of its kind — will be ready for public use in May.
Davis said the supercomputer will make it much less expensive for smaller businesses to process large amounts of data in a short amount of time, giving local entities a competitive advantage.
“We believe that Tulsa can be a technological leader in the 21st century, and we feel this will have an important impact on Tulsa's future growth,” Davis said.
David Greer, executive director of the Oklahoma Innovation Institute, said researchers at the University of Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa who are developing a next-generation antenna already have competitive plans in place for the supercomputer. They suspect researchers at another university are also developing something similar, so the Tulsa researchers hope the extra computational power will allow them to speed up their research and bring it to market first.
George Louthan, a computer scientist for the Tandy Supercomputing Center, said businesses have already approached the facility with possible supercomputing ideas, including an oil and gas company that wants help crunching data from seismic oil and gas exploration.
“For them to do one job on the servers they have, it takes them three months of constant processing to analyze the results,” he said. “For the same amount of financial investment in the supercomputer, it would take the same job roughly three weeks.”
Greer said the computer will have 102 nodes but has the potential to grow to 326. Businesses and other groups will be able to join the project by purchasing additional nodes at $10,000 apiece, along with a $2,500 yearly maintenance fee.
Members will always have access to their nodes, plus they'll be able to borrow nodes that aren't in active use to give their projects a massive boost in computational power at no additional cost.
ROBERT EVATT, Tulsa World