The new supercomputer entered into "friendly-user" mode and is now accessible by National Science Foundation-approved science and engineering teams. NCSA said that "selected" users "will have access to the entire system during this window in order to help the Blue Waters team test and evaluate the full system and to expedite the Petascale Computing Resource Allocation (PRAC) teams' ability to use the full Blue Waters system productively as soon as it is in full production status."
Blue Waters, a $188 million system, which was originally designed to be based on IBM architecture, consists of "more than" 235 Cray XE6 cabinets based on "more than" 49,000 AMD Opteron 6200-series processors, as well as "more than" XK6 30 cabinets based on "more than" 3,000 Nvidia Tesla GPUs.
The expected peak performance will exceed 11.5 petaflops, according to the NCSA. Total nearline storage space will be more than 500 PB.