DRESDEN, Germany, June 17 -- In a global effort to accelerate innovations achieved through fundamental research, GENCI (Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif), the French national high-performance computing (HPC) organization, is expanding France's computing and storage capabilities with solutions from SGI.
The new computer is expected to be installed beginning in early July at CINES, France's National Computer Center for Higher Education in Montpelier. The SGI system will be used by French researchers in areas ranging from climatology and sustainable development to space and aeronautical research, energy, and life and materials sciences.
GENCI purchased for CINES an SGI Altix ICE system capable of operating at 147 trillion operations per second, or teraflops. The new HPC deployment features close to 50 terabytes (TB) of distributed memory and half a petabyte of storage (via a 500TB SGI InfiniteStorage system). These SGI solutions will allow CINES to provide timely access to the data scientists and engineers need to optimize applications used throughout the French research ecosystem. The system will also be connected to the RENATER French high-speed network and to European Community infrastructures.
In addition, CINES can now allocate computer time and resources to many more researchers and professors. The installation supports GENCI's mission to promote the use of modeling, simulation and HPC for fundamental and industrial research in France and in Europe.
"This acquisition is completely in line with our strategy to finance and implement the computing infrastructures needed to assist the development of scientific research throughout Europe," said Catherine Rivière, president of GENCI. "It is a testament to the importance that the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research places on high-performance computing as an essential technology for accelerating innovation and strengthening competitiveness on a national and even international scale."
The new SGI Altix ICE system at CINES is powered by 3,057 Quad Core Intel Xeon processors for a total of 12,288 processor cores, each with 4GB of system memory. The new server taps a 500TB SGI InfiniteStorage 4600 storage system via a Lustre distributed file system. This system will be closely linked to an existing file server using SGI InfiniteStorage Data Migration Facility software, which maximizes storage performance and capacity utilization across multiple tiers of RAID and tape storage.
"SGI is proud to supply GENCI with its new supercomputer -- a system that will allow France to maintain its pioneering research leadership in a multitude of disciplines," said SGI CEO Robert "Bo" Ewald. "Whether using this SGI Altix ICE system to run many iterations of a simulation or analyzing huge amounts of data, scientists rely on SGI to deliver faster time to insight. We are delighted to extend our collaboration with CINES, which began 10 years ago when CINES acquired large shared memory SGI servers. This acquisition again shows how SGI can offer a very powerful solution for higher education and research that meets the needs of the most demanding customers in the world."
"As demonstrated by GENCI, HPC is fast becoming an indispensable tool for businesses, educational institutions and governments, who require it to solve the increasingly complex scientific and engineering problems of today," said Christian Morales, vice president and general manager, Intel EMEA. "The Intel Xeon multi-core processors in this SGI deployment deliver the best energy-efficient performance for the CINES installation."
With its new SGI InfiniteStorage 4600 RAID system, GENCI will deploy seventh-generation technology within a proven solution architecture built on more than 25 years of industry-leading high-performance storage expertise. To keep up with the I/O-intensive applications commonly used in science and engineering, the new system will reach 175,000 sustained IOPS (Input/Output Operations per Second). The flexible system allows GENCI to scale as its needs evolve, while ensuring that data is always available to researchers.
For more information on the SGI Altix ICE integrated blade platform, www.sgi.com/products/servers/altix/ice/
. For information on SGI InfiniteStorage solutions, visit: www.sgi.com/products/storage/
GENCI, Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif, is a legal entity or civil company under French law. It is 50 percent owned by the French State represented by the Ministry for Higher Education and Research, 20 percent by the CEA, 20 percent by the CNRS and 10 percent by French Universities. Created in January 2007, GENCI has the following missions:
- To promote the use of modeling, simulation and High-Performance Computing (HPC) in fundamental and industrial research.
- To promote the organization of European HPC and participate to its actions.
- To set in place and coordinate the major computer hardware for the French HPC centers for civil research, by providing for their financing and assuming their ownership.
- To perform all research required for developing and optimizing the utilization of computing hardware.
- To make the hardware it owns available to all interested scientific communities, academic or industrial, national, European or international.
For more information, visit: www.genci.fr
CINES (National Computer Centre for Higher Education), based in Montpellier, France, provides the scientific community with the powerful means to pursue public research. It is a national public institution under the authority of the Minister of Research.
- CINES offers laboratories the opportunity to exploit their codes on parallel supercomputing computing resources. Many scientific disciplines (such as fluid mechanics, chemistry, materials chemistry, physics, astrophysics, bioinformatics) use the Centre's equipment to solve problems that require extreme computing power and large amounts of memory. Via its scientific visualization service, CINES offers its users the opportunity to visualize the results of their calculations.
- Through projects driven by the Directorate of Higher Education's Library and Information Science group, CINES helps research bodies and public institutions by offering network-based database support and services.
- In partnership with the Agency Bibliographic of Higher Education (ABES) and other groups, CINES hosts and operates Sudoc, a university documentation system. The center also houses digitized texts, images, and videos, and provides access to these over the Web.
- CINES is connected to the Internet by RENATER (National Network for Technology, Education and Research) through a 1Gb per second connection. CINES collaborates with IPTF RENATER, which organizes training under CiRen (CINES-RENATER).
SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a broad range of high-performance server, storage and visualization solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI helps customers solve significant challenges whether it's enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate change, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be found on the Web at www.sgi.com.