UW-Madison Computes Its Savings

UW-Madison Computes Its Savings

In the Fall of 2007 UW-Madison was able to purchase 145 Dell PowerEdge 2850 computer servers for only $168 each from the Wisconsin Division of Federal Property. Each of these computers had dual 3.0 GHz processors, 8 GB of RAM, and three 300 GB hard drives. The Dell Model PE 2850 Servers were manufactured in September 2005 and used computer vendors were currently selling this same model server in the price range of $1,400 to $1,900 each.

Scientific staff and students associated with The Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas (CMSO) are using 80 of these Dell Servers to run a variety of scientific codes with the goal of understanding the behavior of astrophysical and laboratory plasmas.  CMSO is funded by the National Science Foundation as a Physics Frontiers Center, (http://www.cmso.info/).

Dr. Cary B. Forest and his graduate research assistants are using 12 of these Dell servers to run codes in support of the Madison Dynamo Experiment funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy Office of Fusion Energy Sciences.

Dr. Johan Carlsson is using 17 of these Dell servers to run codes related to the Lower Hybrid Current Drive (LCHD), a RF heating project on the Madison Symmetric Torus (MST).  MST is a major plasma physics experiment directed by Dr. Stewart C. Prager and funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy Office of Fusion Energy Sciences.

I needed to use one of these Dell Servers just to compute the amount our group has saved the past few years by purchasing computers, electronic test equipment, vacuum equipment, aluminum, copper wire, stainless steel, tools, etc. through the WDFP.

Thank you,
Dale Schutte
Program Administrator
Plasma Physics Research Group