23 February 2021

The next generation DAS, DAS-6, will be available shortly! DAS-6 is currently being installed and tested. It is expected to become available for regular use in March/April 2021.

May, 2016

IEEE Computer publishes paper about 20 years of Distributed ASCI Supercomputer. See the DAS Achievements page.

DAS-6 Overview

DAS-6 (The Distributed ASCI Supercomputer 6) is a six-cluster wide-area distributed system designed by the Advanced School for Computing and Imaging (ASCI). DAS-6 is funded by NWO/NCF (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research), and the participating universities and organizations (see below).

The challenge of the new DAS-6 project is to study the feasibility of a next generation trusted ecosystem to face the proliferation of many developments in Computer Science, such as streaming applications, edge and fog computing, in-network processing, and complex security and trust policies. The DAS-6 research ecosystem will consist of 6 clusters with different functionalities, integrated into a coherent shared distributed system that is designed to fit the current research agenda of numerous Computer Science groups in The Netherlands. Over 60 funded research projects will use DAS-6 once it is operational, especially in systems areas like trust, security, blockchains, scheduling, big data, Internet-of-Things, and accelerators and in application areas like artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning (DL), and eScience.

DAS-6 will be available shortly!

This is the sixth time that a single project receives funding from the very competitive NWO program, which is quite an achievement. DAS-6 is currently being installed and tested. It is expected to become available for regular use in March/April 2021.

The following institutes and organisations are directly involved in the realization and running of DAS-6:

DAS-5 cluster at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
DAS-5 clusters at UvA/UvA-MN, Amsterdam

IEEE Computer: 20 years of DAS

The May 2016 issue of IEEE Computer Society’s flagship journal Computer contained an extensive research paper describing the history and impact of the Distributed ASCI Supercomputer (DAS). The paper is based on Henri Bal’s keynote talk upon the receipt of the Euro-Par Achievement Award and is written by the steering committee of DAS. It explains how DAS is unique in the world: because of its moderate scale (200 nodes spread over 6 clusters), we were able to build five successive generations that each were consistent with the research agenda at the time. By favouring coherence over scale, DAS enabled ground-braking Computer Science research for almost 2 decades, resulting in numerous awards and over 100 Ph.D. theses. The central organization through the ASCI research school was crucial to this success. These modest long-term investments in Computer Science infrastructure, from DAS-1 (built in 1997) to DAS-5 (2015), thus have proven to be extremely effective.

If you have used DAS for your research, please refer to this paper:

Henri Bal, Dick Epema, Cees de Laat, Rob van Nieuwpoort, John Romein, Frank Seinstra, Cees Snoek, and Harry Wijshoff:
"A Medium-Scale Distributed System for Computer Science Research: Infrastructure for the Long Term",
IEEE Computer, Vol. 49, No. 5, pp. 54-63, May 2016.
A draft version of this paper is here.