Podcast: Dell EMC Powers Artemis 3 Supercomputer at University of Sydney

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Dr. Jeremy Hammond

In this podcast, Dr. Jeremy Hammond from the University of Sydney and Andrew Underwood from Dell EMC describe the new Artemis 3 supercomputer. The new Dell EMC system will power world-leading research and academic programs.

This fully deployed high-performance computing system uses Dell EMC PowerEdge C4140 server technology, The University of Sydney’s $2.3 million system has an rPeak performance of 1 petaflops and an rMax of 700 teraflops, which will allow faster processing of data to provide answers to scientific questions previously beyond reach.

The University’s research continues to grow in computational intensity,” said Dr Jeremy Hammond, director, Strategic Ventures, The University of Sydney, Australia. “To stay ahead of the volume and velocity of data being generated by scientific instruments and sensors, researchers need high performance computing technology to collect and process data faster, in real-time, or thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, with minimal human interaction.”

Artemis 3 will support a diverse range of projects at The University of Sydney, including those in established fields such as geophysics and cosmology, as well as rapidly growing areas of genomics and proteomics. It will also be used in emerging areas that tackle questions answerable by Big Data, such as economics, transport logistics and medical imaging.

Much of the role of the supercomputer is supporting the work of the multi-million dollar UBTECH Sydney Artificial Intelligence Centre, announced last year. Led by Professor Dacheng Tao, the centre is a multidisciplinary effort to solve some of the major challenges in AI and robotics.

With increased throughput, computational performance, and storage capacity, Artemis 3 will be able to capture and process sensor and instrumentation data from across campus and remote research sites, enabling a wave of new research and discovery,” says Andrew Underwood, Dell EMC HPC and AI lead for Asia-Pacific and Japan.


A Multi-Purpose HPC

Artemis 3 supports research that runs the gamut from highly academic to extremely practical. In the past, historic Artemis systems have done everything from helping trace the evolution of matter over the history of the universe, to optimising the transport network in global cities, including Sydney.

As well as helping find practical solutions to key health and infrastructure problems in Australia, the system ensures the university remains a global research leader. It supports accelerated computing on NVIDIA® Tesla® graphics processing units (GPUs) for high-performance needs, which is vital for the growing areas of AI and machine learning. The University of Sydney already hosts cutting-edge research in this field and can now develop tools and techniques with broader applications in a range of research areas.

Artemis 3 also makes it easier for the university to build a system that is suitable for all levels of academia, from undergraduate students to professors. This is key to ensuring the university delivers not just world-class research, but world-class graduates.

By exposing our undergraduate and postgraduate students to supercomputing, we provide them with the skills to support and shape the knowledge-based economy essential for Australia’s technological future,” says Dr Hammond.

Bringing the “Grunt”

This new supercomputer augments the capabilities of Artemis 2, a previous system also built on Dell EMC PowerEdge. Artemis 2, last upgraded in 2016, lacked the Artemis 3’s dedicated NVIDIA Tesla GPU cores’ computational power and therefore was less suitable for the University’s next level of AI and machine learning research.

As well as giving the university an international advantage in various areas of research, this enhancement to CPU-based computing is essential to support the continued growth of researchers across the university.

The addition of advanced deep-learning capabilities to our Artemis supercomputer – thanks to the Dell EMC PowerEdge C4140 – is a mission-critical dimension of our research infrastructure,” said Professor Geraint F Lewis, Deputy Director, Sydney Informatics Hub, The University of Sydney, Australia. “With a greater number of research problems being data-driven, or more accessible because there is data, our researchers will be able to investigate questions that were previously unanswerable.”

A Partnership for the AI revolution

Due to their existing relationship, Dell EMC had demonstrated its strong understanding of scientific workloads and knowledge the University’s vision, which made them the obvious choice for this upgrade. Artemis 3 is a further demonstration of Dell EMC’s ability to provide an HPC system that powers leading-edge science.

As we’ve built up our capacity to operate and deliver high quality HPC, Dell EMC has become a trusted partner,” said Dr Hammond. “The company has supported us in our pursuit of becoming a renowned HPC centre and worked closely with our team to put together a supercomputer that meets our diverse needs.”

The Artemis 3 is built on the 14th generation PowerEdge HPC platform and contains:

  • 49 x PowerEdge C6420 nodes (2,352 x86 compute cores, and 9TB memory)
  • 27 x PowerEdge C4140 nodes (552,960 CUDA cores, and 69,120 Tensor Cores for AI training)
  • 700TB Lustre Storage

The new PowerEdge C4140 is the most powerful Dell EMC compute platform to date, containing the latest-generation Intel Xeon® Scalable Processors and four NVIDIA NVLink™ connected Tesla V100 GPUs. The accelerated computing optimized design offers unthrottled performance and over 44x more throughput for over 500 key scientific and engineering applications. Additionally, the NVIDIA Tesla V100 is equipped with 640 Tensor Cores, delivering 125 Teraflops of deep learning performance.

Informatics and supercomputing represent a revolutionary shift in the academy, and the performance and flexibility of the Dell EMC PowerEdge C4140 makes it a perfect resource for our extremely talented researchers and students,” says Dr Hammond. “These transformational computing platforms ensure our initiatives in translational data science, the biomedical sciences, advanced engineering, and humanities and social sciences, are making a lasting impact on communities and the industry, both locally and globally.”

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  1. Artemis 3 Supercomputer is a big milestone in the evolution of HPC. I would like to know further details about Artemis 3.