InHPC-DE maximizes high-speed data connection between Germany’s leading supercomputers
BERLIN, Germany, Nov. 11, 2018–Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) users from Germany's leading academic institutions are now able to move data to and from GCS facilities significantly faster–the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS), Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC), and Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) will be able to push Germany's high-speed X-WiN network to its limits.
Coordinated under the auspices of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)-funded project InHPC-DE, this infrastructural improvement delivers on a key promise announced last year as part of BMBF's strategy. The national high-tech strategy not only provides funding for the construction and operation of next-generation supercomputers, but also calls on high-performance computing (HPC) centres to ensure that users can make the best possible use of these technologies.
"The key component of the GCS HPC strategy is ensuring that our users have the best-possible tools to achieve their research goals," said Dr. Claus-Axel Müller, Managing Director of GCS. "This requires more than just building faster supercomputers. It requires us to provide an advanced user support structure and services that allow users to efficiently send data sets in order to access specific technologies best suited for a specific task."
Maximizing data transfer capabilities on and off of X-WiN helps GCS further its Smart Scale HPC goals. X-WiN is the hardware component of Germany's Research and Education Network (DFN, or Deutsches Forschungsnetz). It provides users up to one terabit data transfer speed across more than 60 of Germany's leading research institutions. Each GCS centre is connected by 2×100 gigabit-per-second data transfer speed, which is the fastest individual connection to X-WiN.
InHPC-DE was launched in late 2017 with one main goal–to bring Germany's leading high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities even closer together, providing users a means to run simulations on the widest possible array of computing architectures, ultimately offering a "virtual HPC centre" experience.
Achieving this goal will benefit long-time GCS users like Prof. Dr. Andreas Kempf of the University of Duisburg, whose research team has made use of HPC resources at all three GCS centres.
Kempf's team studies fluid dynamics as it relates to combustion. Its research covers a broad spectrum of applications that are relevant for improving efficiency in everything from power plants to automobiles.
Having continuous access to HPC resources at the GCS centres has allowed the team to use their in-house PsiPhi code on world-leading machines, and also make it more adaptable.
"When we first got access to the BlueGene/Q architecture at JSC, it took our team some time to port our code to the architecture," Kempf said. "But this was ultimately really beneficial to the code and helped us improve our parallel efficiency. We have always received strong support from the three centres through their respective seminars and training workshops."
As a long-time GCS user, Kempf sees new opportunities as a result of the InHPC-DE project. The new network connection will not only enable him to more easily transfer the large datasets generated on the GCS resources back to his home institution, but will also make it possible to run more iterations of his simulations in parallel at multiple centres, greatly improving his team's efficiency.
The team is excited to see how the combination of an ultra-high-speed network and new, diverse machine architectures at the three centres will impact the team's research.
In the next phase of the project, the three centres will be working together to develop more advanced services and capabilities for distributed, collaborative, real-time visualizations.
About GCS: The Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) combines the three German national supercomputing centres HLRS (High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart), JSC (Jülich Supercomputing Centre), and LRZ (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre, Garching near Munich) into Germany's integrated Tier-0 supercomputing institution. Together, the three centres provide the largest, most powerful supercomputing infrastructure in all of Europe to serve a wide range of academic and industrial research activities in various disciplines. They also provide top-tier training and education for the national as well as the European High Performance Computing (HPC) community. GCS is the German member of PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe), an international non-profit association consisting of 24 member countries, whose representative organizations create a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure, providing access to computing and data management resources and services for large-scale scientific and engineering applications at the highest performance level.
GCS is jointly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, and North Rhine-Westphalia. It is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. For more information, please visit http://www.gauss-centre.eu.