Yes. I am not sure of the exact computational power of the machines I am interested in using. It actually may be a very poor estimation because I am guessing based on petaflop output which, to my knowledge, is more or less irrational.
Regardless, it's a shit-ton of power.
FLOPs are floating point operations. If you can get access to a supercomputer thats any good at flops, it will almost certainly stink when it comes to sha256 hashing (integer). A typical TOP500 supercomputer may have trouble delivering higher hashrates than your typical 3x dual GPU mining rig
From what I was told, the machines I am interested in using are often used for sha256 hashing.
Unless they have GPU's, it doesn't really matter. P4man is right - you'll get hashes on the order of GH/s, not TH/s. They may often be used for sha256 hashing, but 12 GH/s is quite enough for most sha256 hashing needs. It's just not a whole lot when used for Bitcoin mining.
But good luck. I only hope you DON'T have 2 TH/s, because I would hate to see my own miniscule mining profits drop by 20% overnight. Do tell us whether it works out for you though.
Exactly. Outside of Bitcoin nothing needs to perform trillions of hashes per second.
1 GH = 2 billion hashes per second (Bitcoin is a double hash).
Say you have a login server w/ passwords hashed as SHA-256. Now everyone on the planet
needs to login and they might all login at the same exact second. Assuming you had fast enough disks, network, memory, etc you would "only" need roughly 4 GH to allow global simultaneous login of every human living (including those without computers or electricity "just in case").
That's just 4 GH. Terra hash would be 250 times that.
I won't do the math but the same terra-scale factors apply to VPN/IPsec, digital signatures, document analysis, data sorting, deduplication, and other applications for hashing functions.