Avoca installation - now complete

Avoca installation - now complete

VLSCI's newest Supercomputer, 4 racks of Blue Gene/Q called 'Avoca':

MELBOURNE, Victoria is now home to one of Australia’s fastest supercomputers and one of the world’s greenest supercomputers, the IBM Blue Gene/Q. Going live in July, this machine provides 836 teraflops of processing power – the equivalent computing power of more than 20,000 desktop computers. The Green500, for a third time, ranked the IBM Blue Gene/Q as the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputer in November 2011.

See the Avoca for Tambo Users page for some basic help in getting jobs running there.

November, 2012, Avoca, is number 33 on the Top500 supercomputer list.


                    IMAGE: Blue Gene/Q with its covers on - Wednesday 13 June, 2012

Software Progress

VLSCI has most popular codes installed. Over time this list will grow, but right now the following codes have been built at VLSCI and tested on a remote BlueGene/Q (thanks IBM!). You can assume these ones will probably "work out of the box" -

  • Amber 11 - compiled and tested
  • AutoDock 4.2 - compiled and tested
  • Boost 1.49.0 - compiled and tested
  • Charm++ 6.4.0 - compiled and tested
  • Chaste 2.3 - compiled and tested
  • Dalton (2011) - compiled and to be tested
  • FFTW 2.1.5 & 3.2.1 - compiled and tested
  • Gamess 20100325 - compiled and to be tested
  • Gromacs 4.5.5 (C-kernel) - compiled and tested
  • HDF5 1.8.7 - compiled and tested
  • Lammps (15 Jan 11) - compiled and tested with standard benchmarks
  • Lapack 3.2.2 - compiled and tested
  • Mesa 7.7.1 - compiled and tested
  • MPIBlast 1.6 - compiled and tested
  • NAMD 2.9b3 - compiled and extensively tested with standard benchmarks
  • NetCDF 4.1.3 - compiled and to be tested
  • Neuron 7.1 - compiled and to be tested
  • OpenFOAM 2.0.1 - compiled and tested
  • ParaView 3.8.1 - compiled and tested
  • PetSC 3.1-p8 & 3.2-p5 - compiled and tested
  • Quimica 0.99.35 - compiled and tested
  • Ray 2.0.0-rc8 - compiled and tested
  • Semtex (2010) - compiled and tested
  • SLEPc 3.1-p6 - compiled and tested
  • Spider 18.15 - compiled and to be tested
  • TCL 8.4.14 - compiled and tested
  • VTK 5.6.1 - compiled and tested
  • Xerces 2.8.0 - compiled and tested
  • XSD 3.3.0 - compiled and tested
  • Zlib 1.2.3 - compiled and tested


  • Just what is this new machine?
    It's an IBM BlueGene/Q with 65,536 cores and 65 Tbytes of RAM.
  • The previous BlueGene was suited to only big jobs, does the new one have the same issues?
    No, while the BG/Q is still substantially a specialist parallel machine, it is quite happy allocating only one node to a single job. The BG/P's minimum allocation was 64 nodes!
  • What does each node look like then?
    Each node has 16 Power cores and 16GBytes RAM. There is hardware support for up to four threads per core so, depending on your application (and its memory needs), you may think of a node as supporting anything between 16 and 64 processes. Indeed, like the BG/P, it is possible to make more than one GByte RAM available to each process by using less than 16 cores.
  • When will it be ready for my compute jobs?
    Avoca is now available to users.
  • What's happening to Tambo, the BlueGene/P?
    Tambo has been completely shutdown and is no longer available. Please see the migration to Avoca page for information on moving to Avoca from Tambo.

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