By Duncan Macrae
Dell and the University of Cambridge (UoC) have taken their high-performance computing research to another level at their European HPC Solution Centre.
In collaboration with Intel, the Dell/Cambridge HPC Solution Centre aims to provide answers to challenges facing the HPC community and feed the results back into the wider research community. The center is enabling astronomers to look back at the beginning of the universe, medics to explore the genetic analysis of tens of thousands of disease patients, and automotive partners to investigate new ways to access state of the art computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems via remote visualization.
For the past four years, Dell and UoC have been co-running the HPC Solution Centre in an effort to provide solutions to real world problems by increasing the effectiveness of the HPC and data platforms used in the research community.
To enable the community to take further advantage of new research discoveries, UoC and Dell have been joined by Intel to create an additional focus on large-scale data-centric HPC, data analytics and multi-tenanted cloud HPC provision.
As a result of this collaboration, innovation has been unlocked, enabling new levels of performance, scale, cost efficiency and ways of working within the commodity HPC and storage domains. For example, researchers will benefit from the full Intel portfolio of products, like Intel Xeon processors and Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, but also work storage like Intel SSDs, scalable storage software like Lustre-based solutions plus interconnect solutions like Intel True Scale Fabric. These advances have been applied across hundreds of customer use cases, driving advances in healthcare, high-energy physics, astronomy and industry.
Paul Calleja, head of HPC services, UoC, said: “The three-way collaboration strengthens the HPC centre. By creating a larger mass of skills and resources, we are able to focus on the emerging problems of data-centric HPC, data analytics and cloud-based research computing services. We’re able to tackle the HPC challenges identified by the community and resolve real-world issues.”
Tony Parkinson, vice president, enterprise solutions, Dell EMEA, said: “This project will result in solutions that help solve customers’ challenges in a faster and more cost effective manner. By actively forging collaboration between the HPC community, technology vendors and the UoC, we want to drive market-ready solutions by drawing on the wide-ranging skills and experience that both technology developers and end-users offer. Through our experience running the HPC centre with UoC, we’ve seen the potential to expand the centre and dive into new projects, like data analytics, faster with Intel.”
Gerald Grattoni, director, enterprise solutions sales, Intel EMEA, said: “There’s a rapid emergence of big-data workloads and a transition from compute bound problems to data problems. There needs to be an emphasis on data management and analytics to expand research capability. By joining Dell and UoC, we’re able to help game-changing projects reach their full potential in the research community.”