Feeds

Fujitsu wins £15m Welsh supercomputer bid

Distributed grid in four years

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Fujitsu has won the bid to power Wales's high-performance computing (HPC) ambitions with a £15m, four-year project to build a supercomputer grid using Primergy Xeon servers and InfiniBand.

The HPC Wales system is a hub-and-spoke design, with two connected hubs at Cardiff and Swansea/Pembroke Dock, connected by Mellanox-supplied InfiniBand and sharing storage in a high-availability set up. We're told these link to six other sites, forming eight linked sites in total, although only four actual (academic) spoke sites are identified: Swansea, Aberystwyth, Bangor and the University of Glamorgan.

The HPC Wales release says there are further links to the University of Wales Alliance of Universities and to business innovation centres. There will be more than 1,400 nodes in total and the total supercomputing capacity is more than 190Tflops. This puts the system, in sheer teraflop terms, in the low 30s in its position in the top 500 world supercomputer list.

Fujitsu's senior man for the UK and Ireland, Roger Gilbert, alluded to this when he said: "What’s key for us is that HPC is no longer all about tera- and petaflop ratings alone, rather it is about what the HPC capability is used to achieve and ultimately what impact it has more directly to society and business.

"We’re confident that our work with HPC Wales will bring significant technology, skills, research, jobs and economic development to the region."

Fujitsu spokesperson Joe Duran said the 1,400 nodes were compute nodes and a job could run across them all using the scheduler in Fujitsu's SynfiniWay middleware, which is said to provide a private enterprise cloud. In practice, though, jobs will surely be given some portion of the 190Tflops according to their needs.

The node sites will mainly use Fujitsu Primergy Xeon servers and Linux or Windows operating systems. The hubs have 4-600 clustered servers, with smaller node server numbers as we radiate outwards through the tiers of spokes.

The design of the grid spreads the nodes across Wales' geography. HPC Wales says the purpose of the supercomputer is to improve Wales' economic development and use of technology. It claims the system will bring in an additional £22.8m to the Welsh economy over the next 10 years, create "400 quality jobs" and help create at least 10 new businesses.

Fujitsu says this is its largest European HPC project and marks its return to UK supercomputing after a 10-year absence. ®

Best practices for enterprise data

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?