Leicester Scales Out ALICE Super with Panasas

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This week Panasas announced that the University of Leicester has consolidated a private cloud infrastructure using Panasas ActiveStor, a high performance parallel storage system running over 10GbE and InfiniBand. As a centralized HPC resource with 2048 cores, the Advanced Leicester Information and Computational Environment (ALICE) allows researchers to run computationally intensive research projects quickly and efficiently.

Academic departments typically struggle to secure research funding to employ skilled IT support staff simply to administer their HPC systems,” said Dr. Chris Rudge, facility manager for the UK Astrophysics Fluids Facility at Leicester University, who was tasked with creating the centralized supercomputing facility. “Panasas storage performance and manageability were the key reasons that the University of Leicester chose Panasas for ALICE. Benchmarking during the tender process demonstrated clearly that Panasas offered the best performance both on a per-node basis and also without degradation of the aggregate performance with access from multiple nodes.”

Prior to ALICE, Leicester’s researchers used HPC clusters scattered throughout the campus. By consolidating its high performance storage and compute resources into a centralized private cloud, the university avoided the cost of over-provisioning individual HPC clusters to meet the demands of peak workloads.