Vendor delays and global shortages affecting RCC upgrades

Every year, the Research Computing Center makes an annual purchase of new compute nodes and adds these to our cluster. We usually start the purchase process in the late spring so that FSU Procurement Services has enough time to prepare the formal bidding, and then RCC can purchase the new nodes around August. However, last year was different because of global supply shortages.

In September of 2021, Aspen Systems won the formal bid, and FSU issued a purchase order for 40 new servers, each with 64 cores, 512 GB of RAM, and solid state drives. Aspen had given an initial delivery date for these nodes around January 2022. However, Aspen has pushed that date back several times, because one of the suppliers could not supply InfiniBand equipment. The current ETA is mid-June 2022.

Another major purchase we submitted last October has also seen significant delays. We are adding eight Dell nodes to our GPU cluster with Nvidia A30 GPUs. Unfortunately, Dell has pushed the initial delivery time of these nodes to early June. In this case, a lack of power supplies is causing the delays.

Many of our users rely on those newer resources, and we share your pain. Please be patient. The supply shortages affect everything from the delivery of wireless access points to servers across FSU and beyond.

Hopefully, we will have several pallets of equipment arriving at our data center next month, and we will try to make those resources available to our users as soon as we can.