Feeds

Fujitsu wins £15m Welsh supercomputer bid

Distributed grid in four years

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
VMware vaporises vCHS hybrid cloud service
AnD yEt mOre cRazy cAps to dEal wIth
prev story

Whitepapers

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?
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.