Skip to content

BigTex High Performance Computing

The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Supercomputer

BigTex is the largest high performance computing (HPC) environment in the Federal Reserve System with 840 nodes and 13,440 cores. This environment is used by Federal Reserve Bank economists and their co-authors for economic research requiring a large amount of computing resources.

Environment

  • 800 standard compute nodes with 32 GB memory and 16 cores each
  • 20 big-mem nodes with 64 GB memory and 16 cores each
  • 16 MATLAB Distributed Computing Server nodes with 32 GB memory and 16 cores each
  • 4 debug nodes with 32 GB memory and 16 cores each

Software

  • CentOS/OpenHPC – Linux based operating environment
  • SLURM – Scheduler used to control the compute jobs
  • Intel and GNU Fortran, C, C++ compilers each with multiple MPI stacks (impi, mvapich2, openmpi) and optimized BLAS and other math libraries via Intel’s Math Kernel Libraries (MKL)
  • Anaconda-based Python 2.x and 3.x stacks with over 200 optimized Python packages
  • Julia (multiple versions)
  • MATLAB DCS (256 Core)
  • Complete HPC development environment with debuggers and profilers

Requesting Access

BigTex is available to all Federal Reserve economists and their co-authors without user fees. It is located on the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) network and requires use of their VPN to access the environment. You will need to use a device that is allowed to set up and connect to the UTD VPN.

Submitting a Federal Reserve User Request

Submitting a Non-FRB User Request for a Co-author

  • Co-author requests will be available in the near future.

Complete Account Creation

Connecting to BigTex

UTD VPN

  • Download and install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client from https://www.utdallas.edu/oit/vpn/.
  • Hostname: vpn.utdallas.edu
  • Credentials: UTD NetID, password and two-factor code

BigTex Terminal

  • Connect to the UTD VPN.
  • Use an SSH client such as PuTTY to connect.
  • Hostname: big-tex.utdallas.edu
  • Credentials: UTD NetID (lowercase) and password

BigTex File Access

  • Connect to the UTD VPN.
  • Use an SFTP client such as WinSPC.
  • Hostname: big-tex.utdallas.edu
  • Credentials: UTD NetID (lowercase) and password

How to Use BigTex

BigTex user documentation is available while on the VPN at http://docs.big-tex.utdallas.edu.

Questions

For questions about the environment or issues with your account, please contact dal.bigtex.support@dal.frb.org.

BigTex Team

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Alexander W. Richter

Alexander W. Richter
Senior Research Economist and Advisor
Director, High Performance Computing

Alex joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in May 2016. His research interests include monetary policy, fiscal policy, computational economics and Bayesian econometrics. His recent work has focused on solving and estimating nonlinear macroeconomic models to understand the effects of uncertainty and the Fed’s zero interest rate policy. Through his work, he has gained considerable experience using several high performance computing environments around the U.S. Alex is primarily responsible for configuration and governance decisions related to BigTex.

Winston Smith

Winston Smith
Supervisor, Business Technology
Administrator, High Performance Computing

Winston leads the Research IT team at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He has worked in the Bank for 7 years in roles including business analysis and data modeling. He has a degree in computer science and has over 20 years of experience delivering IT solutions. Winston is the Federal Reserve resource responsible for coordinating account management, ensuring quality of service, implementing governance decisions and answering questions about BigTex.

University of Texas at Dallas

Christopher S. Simmons

Christopher S. Simmons
UT Dallas Director of Cyberinfrastructure Researcher Support

Chris is a faculty member in the Department of Computer Science at UT Dallas. He has over 20 years of experience with over 50 publications. He is the primary point of contact for BigTex user support and also assists with system management.

Gi Vania

Gi Vania
UT Dallas Senior Director Research Services

Gi leads the Cyber Infrastructure Team at UT Dallas. He has 30 years of service to higher education collegiate-level institutions in the areas of networking, linux system administration and research computing. He oversees BigTex operations and manages the data center infrastructure.

Joey White-Swift

Joey White-Swift
UT Dallas Systems Administrator

Joey joined OIT in the summer of 2018 and has been working with supercomputers based on OpenHPC focusing on computational science workloads. He is expected to graduate this summer with a degree in electrical engineering. He serves as the lead systems administrator for BigTex and performs most of the day-to-day maintenance of the system.

Helpful Links