Cray C90 Range

The Cray-C90 range of computers were manufactured from 1992 until 1996. Around 60 of these machines were manufactured, and many customers migrated their workload from the Cray-XMP to a Cray-YMP and on to a C90. Like the Cray-YMP, the Cray-C90 was available with multiple processor configurations of 4, 8 up to 16 processors. Attached SSD and extra IOS were available as options. Over the life of the Cray-C90, new storage systems were added as well as large memory configurations known as M90s. C90 CPUs delivered 1/G Flop each. 

The wrong kind of help turns a crisis into a disaster at NOAA

Having a fire in your $ 30 million Cray C90 computer is bad enough but to see that crisis turned into an irretrievable catastrophe takes just the wrong person with the wrong fire extinguisher. As this message relates …..

551 NOUS40 KWBC 302235 FOS/NOAAPORT NOTICE NO. 1543   SEPTEMBER 30... 1999

ATTENTION    FAMILY OF SERVICES SUBSCRIBERS NOAAPORT USERS
NOTE         THIS MESSAGE WAS SENT AS A SPECIAL NCEP DISCUSSION ENTRAL
OPERATIONS/NCEP/NWS/ WASHINGTON DC

ALL FIELD PERSONNEL...BELOW IS THE LATEST INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON THE OUTAGE OF
THE CRAY C-90 SUPERCOMPUTER AT SUITLAND... MD.  THIS INFORMATION WAS SENT TO YOUR
REGIONAL DIRECTORS LAST EVENING... AND THEY WERE BRIEFED THIS MORNING.  THE EXACT
SCHEDULE FOR THE BACKUP... MODEL SUITE IS STILL BEING EVALUATED BY NCEP AND OSO.
AS OF 00Z THE...MODEL SUITE ACCOMPANYING THIS MESSAGE WILL GO INTO EFFECT. 
ADDITIONAL... OPTIONS REGARDING MODEL RUNS AND BACKUP POSSIBILITIES FROM OTHER...
ORGANIZATIONS CONTINUE TO BE INVESTIGATED.  I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED AS THE MODEL
SUITE IS MODIFIED.  WE ALSO PLAN TO POST UPDATED INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET BOTH
ON THE NCEP AND OSO HOME PAGES.  THE NCEP HOME PAGE ADDRESS IS

HTTP //WWW.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/
THE OSO HOME PAGE IS
HTTP //WWW.NWS.NOAA.GOV/OSO/NOTICES/NOTICES.SHTML
INTERNET ADDRESSES ALL LOWER CASE.

WE APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE DURING THIS CRITICAL PERIOD.
LOUIS W. UCCELLINI/DIRECTOR/NCEP

FACT SHEET ON NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICES CRAY C90 SUPERCOMPUTER FIRE AT SUITLAND CAMPUS 
ON MONDAY 9/27/99 AT 4 00 P.M. A FIRE OCCURRED INSIDE THE CRAY C90 SUPERCOMPUTER
IN FEDERAL OFFICE BUILDING 4 IN SUITLAND...MD.  THE CRAY C90 IS THE CENTRAL NOAA
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE /NWS/ COMPUTER THAT GENERATES NUMERICAL WEATHER FORECAST
MODELS FOR THE NATIONAL CENTERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PREDICTION /NCEP/ IN CAMP
SPRINGS MD.

THE PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONDED AND EXTINGUISHED THE FIRE BY
USING DRY CHEMICALS. TWO OF THE POWER SUPPLY UNITS INSIDE OF THE CRAY C90 WERE
DAMAGED.  THE DRY CHEMICALS USED BY THE FIRE DEPARTMENT CONTAMINATED OTHER
COMPONENTS IN THE COMPUTER AS WELL.

AFTER AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRAY C90 COMPUTER...SILICON GRAPHICS
INCORPORATED...THE COMPUTER CONTRACTOR...HAS DETERMINED THAT THE COMPUTER HAS
BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY DAMAGED.   SILICON GRAPHICS DOES NOT BELIEVE THE COMPUTER CAN
BE REPAIRED.  THE CRAY C90 IS INOPERATIVE.

NCEP CONTINUES TO INVESTIGATE OPTIONS FOR RESTORING CRAY C90  SERVICE.  IN
COLLABORATION WITH NOAA S HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING CENTER /HPCC/... NCEP IS
GETTING A SECOND OPINION THROUGH AN EXPERT AT NIST ON THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE CAUSED
BY THE FIRE.

ALL CRITICAL OPERATIONS AT NCEP CONTINUE TO BE SUPPORTED. THE NWS FORECASTERS
CONTINUE TO PERFORM THEIR DUTIES UTILIZING NUMERICAL MODELS RUN ON OTHER NWS
COMPUTERS AND ACCESSED FROM OTHER NATIONAL CENTERS. NCEP HAS IMPLEMENTED
PRE-ARRANGED BACKUP SUPPORT PROCEDURES USING AIR FORCE... NAVY... AND FSL
FORECAST PRODUCTS.

SOME MODELS WHICH USUALLY RUN FOUR TIMES DAILY ARE NOW RUNNING TWICE DAILY AND
ONE MODEL THAT IS USUALLY RUN HOURLY IS BEING RUN EVERY THREE HOURS... WITH
HOURLY RUNS TO BE RESUMED BY FRIDAY OCTOBER 1ST.  WE ARE ABLE TO MAKE DO WITH
THESE RUNS IN ADDITION TO USING THE OTHER MODEL INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM OTHER
NATIONAL CENTERS.

THE NWS HAS TAKEN ALL STEPS NECESSARY TO MINIMIZE POTENTIAL IMPACTS TO NWS
FORECASTERS AND THOSE OUTSIDE OF THE NWS WHO RELY ON OUR PRODUCTS. 
END NNNN

This story is also related on The Register

This site subsequenly became an IBM SP/2 shop.

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