Swiss Supercomputer One Of The Largest In Europe


The massively parallel Cray XT5 supercomputer is now capable of delivering a sustained data transfer rate of 20 GB/s for its open-source Lustre file system

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre in Manno, Switzerland, has announced that it has upgraded its current Cray XT3 supercomputer to an even faster Cray XT5 system, and that it selected LSI to handle the massive storage requirement

The announcement was made on the opening day of the International Supercomputing Conference 2009 in Hamburg, Germany.

The updated supercomputer now employs five LSI Engenio 7900 high-performance computing storage systems as its part of the upgrade.

The massively parallel Cray XT5 supercomputer now is capable of delivering a sustained data transfer rate of 20 GB/s for its Sun Microsystems-provided, open-source Lustre file system. The recently completed upgrade has resulted in a system that is now the most powerful supercomputer in Switzerland and one of the largest HPC systems in Europe.

Founded in 1991, CSCS, the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre develops technical and scientific services in high-performance computing for the Swiss research community.

The center collaborates with domestic and foreign researchers on selected projects and carries out its own research in scientific computing. Located at Manno near Lugano, in the southern, Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, CSCS is an autonomous unit of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

“The upgrade to the Cray XT5 with integrated LSI storage is a significant step toward sustained petascale computing capability,” said CSCS Director Thomas Schulthess.

“The exceptional storage performance is important to achieve a well-balanced supercomputer that will enable our users to push the boundaries of simulation-based science and gain scientific insights that would otherwise be impossible.”

The Engenio 7900 HPC systems are the latest in a series of LSI storage installations at the CSCS which have been integral to the Centre’s recent breakthrough results in research and petascale computing technology.

The new Cray-LSI system will enable large-scale simulation-based science in fields ranging from climatology and geology to genetics, astronomy and experimental medicine.

The Engenio 7900 storage arrays are based on seventh-generation LSI XBB2 architecture, the company said. The units feature very high bandwidth and flexible host connectivity, including InfiniBand and 8 Gb/s Fibre Channel, with scalability to 480 drives.

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