New 38.8 Tflops Cluster Opens at the University of Bordeaux
Regional dignitaries, eminent scientists and HPC technologists gather at the University of Bordeaux to celebrate the official opening of “Avakas”, the new Bordeaux 1 super-compute cluster.
Supported by the Aquitaine Regional Council with financial backing from the European Union and the European Regional Development Fund, the Bordeaux HPC cluster is the result of a close consortium of academic, commercial, and technology partners, including collaborative contributions from the PRES Université de Bordeaux, the Université Bordeaux-1, the Université Segalen Bordeaux 2, Université de Pau et des Pays L’Adour, the Institute Polytechnic of Bordeaux, the CNRS and INRIA. ClusterVision provided the lead for the technology partnership, coordinating systems, software and service components from Dell, Intel, Qlogic, NVIDIA, and others.
The opening ceremony, which took place on Friday 25 November in the magnificent Agora Hall of the University of Bordeaux 1, attracted over 200 guests from the French HPC community and beyond. In a pre-opening event, VIP guests also gathered to discuss their involvement in the project and to sample the fine cuisine and wines of the Bordeaux region.
The formal cluster inauguration proceedings were introduced by Dean Lewis, Scientific Vice President of Université Bordeaux 1, and were followed by a full program of scientific and technology presentations.
As the leading coordinators of the Bordeaux Technology Partnership, Christopher Huggins, Sales and Marketing Director at ClusterVision, and Marc Mendez-Bermond, Expert Solutions de Calcul Intensif, at Dell, introduced representatives of the various technologies which have been harmoniously brought together in the design and build the Bordeaux cluster. The cluster comprises 528 Intel® Xeon® X5675 processors (3168 cores) in the energy-efficient Dell PowerEdge™ C6100 servers, with QLogic providing the high-speed QDR infiniband interconnect technology. The enclosures, power and cooling technology is provided by Rittal, with Fraunhofer’s FhGFS, and Bright Computing’s Bright Cluster Manager providing the 120TB parallel file system and advanced cluster management capabilities respectively.
Representing the management of the Mésocentre de Calcul Intensif Aquitain (MCIA), Jean-Christophe Soetens, Pierre Gay and Franck Rubi, described the history, profile and objectives of the organisation. This was followed by a number of scientific presentations which showcased the diverse range of software applications which the new HPC facility will enable. Applications in the Geosciences, Physics and Archaeology were represented by presentations on the numerical modeling of seismic waves, physical-numerical modeling for nuclear fusion, and the use of supercomputing in the service of Archaeology. A range of other applications were shown via poster presentations throughout the day.
The official cluster opening was introduced by Jean-Christophe Soetens, Scientific Management of the MCIA, before handing over to Catherine Rivière PDG at GENCI (Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif), Manuel Tunon de Lara, President of the PRES Université de Bordeaux, and Mathew Hazouard, representing the Conseil Regional d’Aquitaine, to complete the formalities. Delegates were then invited to visit the computer centre to view in-situ the existing and new HPC cluster facilities.
“This opening day was a great opportunity to bring together the academic associates, technology partners and the scientific community of Aquitaine involved in HPC computing. This new cluster is a huge step in the long story of supercomputers in Bordeaux. It is the result of the will of the Universities of Aquitaine, with the strong support of the Regional Council, to make available a powerful equipment for the whole scientific community and local small and medium enterprises of Aquitaine.” Jean-Christophe Soetens, Scientific Management of the MCIA.
“The opening of the Bordeaux HPC cluster marks the culmination of a highly successful collaboration between the various academic, scientific and technology parties. ClusterVision are proud to have taken the lead role in coordinating the complex components of this prestigious project, and we are pleased to help celebrate the new breadth and depth of scientific research which this facility will enable,” Christopher Huggins, Sales & Marketing Director, ClusterVision.