True Scale Fabric Powers HPC Efficiency for VSC-3 Project in Austria

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VSCThis week ClusterVision announced that a number of prominent Austrian research organizations have joined forces to create the Vienna Scientific Cluster (VSC-3) project. With an emphasis on energy efficiency, VSC-3 has a mission to put Austria’s most powerful supercomputer at the forefront of the Green500 with help from ClusterVision, Green Revolution Cooling, and Intel Truescale InfiniBand.

Power efficiency in High Performance Computing is of growing concern, due to technological challenges in the ongoing race to exascale and, far more importantly, growing concerns on climate change,” said Dr. Alex Ninaber, Technical Director, ClusterVision. “With this reference, we set the stage for a new paradigm in Information technology.”

Requirements for the VSC-3 cluster dictated a delicate balance between compute power, memory bandwidth, a strong communication backbone, ease of management, and the ability to manage highly parallel workloads.

The VSC-3 system configuration comprises 2020 nodes based on Supermicro’s green mainboard, each fitted with 2 eight-core Intel Xeon E5-2650 v2 processors running at 2.6GHz. The smaller compute nodes (Supermicro’s green X9DRD-iF mainboard)have 64 GByte of main memory per node, whilst the larger nodes are enhanced with up to 128 and 256 GByte of main memory. The system is controlled by two management nodes. Users may access the cluster via 5 dedicated login nodes. To ensure rapid deployment of the high number of compute nodes, the system includes two dedicated, SSD based, deployment servers and six shared deployment nodes in addition to the two management nodes. Due to the very high inter-node communication demands, the interconnect system is based on Intel’s Truescale QDR80 design –

We are delighted to partner with ClusterVision to provide a fabric solution that offers great performance at a compelling cost for the varied applications and workloads that TU Vienna will run on the VSC3 cluster,” said Ian Wardrope, Sales Director, HPC & Fabrics at Intel. “The True Scale QDR 80 design provides an architecture that will allow the users to benefit from high message rates, deterministic latency, resiliency and scalability across the whole of the cluster.”

The software components of the cluster include BeeGFS (formerly known as FhGFS) – the parallel file-system, a 0.64 PByte storage and over 20 GB/s bandwidth, from the Fraunhofer Institute for Technological and Industrial Mathematics (ITWM). All of the hardware and software in the VSC-3 cluster is provisioned and managed using Bright Cluster Manager from Bright Computing. Its graphical user interface satisfies the ease of maintenance requirement, saving time and resources when provisioning, operating, monitoring and operating the system.

The VSC-3 cluster runs a range of commercial and open source scientific applications. This includes the Vienna Ab-initio Simulation Package, better known as VASP, which is used for performing ab initio quantum mechanical molecular dynamics. It also includes the WIEN2k package, a computer program written in Fortran which performs quantum mechanical calculations on periodic solids. Further known codes include NAMD, MM5, HMMER and DMFT. The current VSC-2 users can look forward to a far more efficient and performing environment for their applications, thanks to Intel’s Truescale QDR80 interconnect and Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors. Both of these technologies will more than double the VSC-3’s compute power and efficiency when compared to its predecessor.