High Performance Computing Modernization Program

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High Performance Computing Modernization Program
DoD HPCMP logo.png
Formation1992; 26 years ago (1992)
HeadquartersVicksburg, MS
David Horner
Parent organization

The United States Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) [1] was initiated in 1992 in response to Congressional direction to modernize the Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories’ high performance computing capabilities.[2] The HPCMP provides supercomputers, a national research network, and computational science experts[3] that together enable the Defense laboratories and test centers to conduct research, development, test and technology evaluation activities.[4]

The program was administered by the Office of the Director, Defense Research and Engineering (now called the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering) through FY2011, at which point it was transferred to the office of the United States Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, where it is managed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology.[5]

The program comprises three primary elements: DoD Supercomputing Resource centers, which provide large scale supercomputers and operations staff; DREN, a nationwide high speed, low latency, R&D network connecting the centers and major user communities; and a collection of efforts in software applications to develop, modernize, and maintain software to address DoD's science and engineering challenges. The current director of the program is David Horner, who was appointed to the position in January 2015.[6]

DoD Supercomputing Resource Centers[edit]

The HPCMP funds and oversees the operation of five supercomputing centers, called DoD Supercomputing Resource Centers, or DSRCs. The centers are operated by the Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, MS (erdc.hpc.mil), the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, MD (arl.hpc.mil), the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command in Stennis Space Center, MS (navydsrc.hpc.mil), and the Air Force Research Laboratory in Maui, HI (mhpcc.hpc.mil) and Dayton, OH (afrl.hpc.mil).[7]

Each center hosts large-scale supercomputers, high-speed networks, multi-petabyte archival mass storage systems, and computational experts. The centers are managed by the HPCMP Assistant Director for Centers, who also funds program-wide activities in user support (the HPC Help Desk) and scientific visualization (the Data Analysis and Assessment Center, or DAAC).[7]

Defense Research and Engineering Network[edit]

The Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) — a high-speed national computer network for computational research, engineering, and testing — is a significant program within the HPCMP.

The DREN is the United States Department of Defense’s research and engineering computer network. The DREN is a high-speed, high-capacity, low-latency nationwide computer network for computational scientific research, engineering, and testing in support of the DoD's Science and Technology and Test and Evaluation communities. The DREN connects scientists and engineers at the HPCMP's geographically dispersed high performance computing (HPC) user sites — including the five DoD Supercomputing Resource Centers — and more than 150 user sites at other government laboratories, test centers, universities, and industrial locations throughout the United States (including Hawaii and Alaska).[8]

The DREN wide area networking (WAN) capability is provided under a commercial contract, currently awarded to CenturyLink.[9] It has been awarded in the past to AT&T, MCI/WorldCom, and Verizon. The DREN WAN service provider has built DREN as a virtual private network based on its commercial infrastructure. Capabilities provided by DREN III include digital data transfer services at speeds from 50 Mbit/s through 100 Gbit/s. DREN III is also fully IPv6 enabled, with legacy support for IPv4.[10]

In 2003, DREN was designated the Department of Defense's first IPv6 network by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks & Information Integration.[11]

Other research networks of interest:

Software Applications[edit]

In addition to supercomputers and the national wide area research network, the HPCMP funds software applications that help the DoD achieve its research objectives by ensuring that important DoD applications run effectively on the large-scale supercomputers it deploys.

HPC Software Applications Institutes[edit]

HPC Software Applications Institutes, or HSAIs, are cross-disciplinary projects funded by the HPCMP but executed in the DoD labs. The HSAI program both develops tools to solve important computational problems facing the DoD and build organic HPC expertise within the department.[12]

Productivity Enhancement, Technology Transfer, and Training[edit]

The Productivity Enhancement, Technology Transfer, and Training, or PETTT, project provides training, computational tools and libraries, as well as application development and algorithm enhancement specifically designed to improve the productivity of the DoD’s HPC user community. PETTT projects are generally both shorter in duration and smaller in scale that HSAIs. The PETTT program provides the HPCMP and DoD users with access to expertise and new technologies emerging from over 100 university and industry partners.[13]

Computational Research and Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments[edit]

The Computational Research and Engineering Acquisition Tools and Environments, or CREATE, project is designed to bring the benefits of modern scientific computing to the development and acquisition of next-generation Defense weapons systems, and modernization and enhancement of currently deployed weapons systems. CREATE is developing large-scale, multiphysics software to support the simulation of aircraft (CREATE-AV), ship survivability and maneuverability (CREATE-Ships), radio frequency antenna design (CREATE-RF), and military ground vehicles (CREATE-GV). The program is supported by a fifth, cross-cutting effort to develop a common suite of tools for geometry and mesh generation (CREATE-MG).[14]

Current and Former Program Directors[edit]

The following table summarizes the chronology of program directors.[15][citation needed]

Name From To
1 Anthony Pressley[16] 1992 1995
2 Kay Howell [17] 1995 1997
3 Tom Dunn [18] 1997 1998
4 Charles Holland [18] 1998 1999
5 Cray Henry[19] 2000 Sep 2011
6 John West[20] Oct 2011 Dec 2014
7 David Horner[6] Jan 2015 Present

The HPCMP in the DoD Budget[edit]

Since FY2012, the HPCMP's base funding has been provided on two lines in the Army budget, which is itself a portion of the Department of Defense Budget submitted each year by the President and approved by Congress. PE 0603461A provides for RDT&E funds that operate the centers and DREN, and funds R&D efforts in support of program goals.[21] Line item number B66501 (line 103, BA 02, BSA 92) provides procurement funds for the annual purchase of new supercomputing hardware (both supercomputers and related systems).[22]

Prior to FY2012, the HPCMP's RDT&E funding was provided on PE 0603755D8Z,[23] while procurement was funded on PE 0902198D8Z (P011).[24]

The following table summarizes requested and committee-approved funding amounts for the RDT&E portion of the program for the most recent federal fiscal years (procurement funding, which is supplied on a different line in the federal budget, is not included in this table).

Requested and approved HPCMP funding amounts, RDT&E (in millions of dollars).
Fiscal Year Program Element Line President's Request Congress Approved Difference
2017[25] 0603461A 46 $177.190 $222.19 +$45.0
2016[26] 0603461A 46 $177.159 $222.16 +$45.0
2015[27] 0603461A 47 $181.609 $221.61 +$40.0
2014[28] 0603461A 47 $180.662 $225.66 +$45.0
2013[29] 0603461A 47 $180.582 $228.18 +$47.6
2012[30] 0603461A 47 $183.150 $228.15 +$45.0
2011[31] 0603755D8Z 52 $200.986 $255.49 +$54.5
2010[32] 0603755D8Z 49 $221.286 $245.19 +$23.9
2009 0603755D8Z 49 $208.079[33] $220.345[34] +$12.266
2008[35] 0603755D8Z 50 $187.587 $208.487 +$20.9
2007[36] 0603755D8Z 43 $175.313 $207.213 +$31.9
2006[37] 0603755D8Z 45 $189.747 $213.247 +$23.5
2005[38] 0603755D8Z 42 $186.666 $236.766 +$50.1
2004 0603755F[39] Project 5093 $185.282[40] $202.492[41] +$17.21
2003[42] 0603755D8Z $188.642 $217.142 +$28.5
2002[43] 0603755D8Z $188.376 $187.200 -$1.2
2001[44] 0603755D8Z $164.027 $177.527 +$13.5
2000[45] 0603755D8Z $159.099 $168.099 +$9.0
1999[46] 0603755D8Z $140.927 $153.927 +$13.0
1998[47] 0603755D8Z $126.211 $149.880 +$23.67

The temporary change in Program Element number for FY2004 reflects a planned transition of the program from management by the Office of the Secretary of Defense to the Air Force; this transition did not ultimately occur.


  1. ^ HPCMP website
  2. ^ National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, Sec. 215 Supercomputer Modernization Program
  3. ^ HPCMP website, About page
  4. ^ HPCMP website, Computational Technology Areas list
  5. ^ Spring 2011 HPCMP HPC Insights, p. 1
  6. ^ a b "HPCMP chief selected", ERDC Press Release, 12 March 2015. Retrieved on 02 January 2016.
  7. ^ a b HPCMP Centers website
  8. ^ HPCMP Networking Overview
  9. ^ DREN III Award Notification at FBO.
  10. ^ HPCMP Network capabilities and Technical Overview
  11. ^ HPCMP IPv6 Knowledgebase
  12. ^ HPCMP HSAI web page
  13. ^ HPCMP PETTT web page
  14. ^ HPCMP CREATE web page
  15. ^ Private Communication, 07/23/2015
  16. ^ 50 Years of Army Computing: from ENIAC to MSRC, p .116
  17. ^ "DOD'S HPCMP director loves the cutting edge"FCW, 02 November 1997. Retrieved on 02 January 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Roster Change", FCW, 21 February 1999. Retrieved on 02 January 2016.
  19. ^ HPCMP web archive, Cray Henry biography
  20. ^ "DOD’s Supercomputing Program Relocates to Miss.", ERDC Press Release, 21 June 2012. Retrieved on 02 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Department of the Army FY 2016 President's Budget Exhibit R-1, February 2015, p. A-4. Retrieved on 02 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Department of Defense Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 President's Budget Submission, Army Justification Book of Other Procurement, Army Communications and Electronics Equipment, Budget Activity 2", February 2015, p. 563. Retrieved on 02 January 2016.
  23. ^ "Office of the Secretary of Defense Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Budget Estimates, Volume 3A, p. 359", February 2010. Retrieved on 02 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Office of the Secretary of Defense Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Budget Estimates, Procurement, Defense-Wide", February 2010. P-1 Item Nomenclature: Major Equipment, OSD High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) (P011). Retrieved on 02 January 2016.
  25. ^ FY2017 Omnibus Summary Department of Defense Appropriations, which points to funding tables in the written markup; page 206 in that document
  26. ^ S. Rept. 114-63 - 114th Congress (2015-2016)
  27. ^ S. Rept. 113-211 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
  28. ^ S. Rept. 113-85 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
  29. ^ S. Rept. 112-196 - 112th Congress (2011-2012)
  30. ^ S. Rept. 112-77 - 112th Congress (2011-2012)
  31. ^ S. Rept. 111-295 - 111th Congress (2009-2010)
  32. ^ S. Rept. 111-74 - 111th Congress (2009-2010)
  35. ^ S. Rept. 110-155 - 110th Congress (2007-2008)
  36. ^ S. Rept. 109-292 - 109th Congress (2005-2006)
  37. ^ S. Rept. 109-141 - 109th Congress (2005-2006)
  38. ^ S. Rept. 108-284 - 108th Congress (2003-2004)
  39. ^ FY2004 Exhibit R-2, RDT&E Budget Item Justification
  41. ^ Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 Budget Estimates Exhibit R-2, RDT&E Budget Item Justification
  42. ^ S. Rept. 107-213 - 107th Congress (2001-2002)
  43. ^ S. Rept. 107-109 - 107th Congress (2001-2002)
  44. ^ S. Rept. 106-298 - 106th Congress (1999-2000)
  45. ^ H. Rept. 106-371 - 106th Congress (1999-2000)
  46. ^ H. Rept. 105-746 - 105th Congress (1997-1998)
  47. ^ H. Rept. 105-265 - 105th Congress (1997-1998)

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "High Performance Computing Modernization Program. Department of Defense".