New Report: PRACE in the EuroHPC Era

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The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe has published a new report: PRACE in the EuroHPC Era. PRACE is an international non-profit association with its seat in Brussels. The PRACE Research Infrastructure provides a persistent worldclass High Performance Computing service for scientists and researchers from academia and industry in Europe. Computer systems and their operations accessible through PRACE are provided by 5 PRACE members (BSC representing Spain, CINECA representing Italy, ETH Zurich/CSCS representing Switzerland, GCS representing Germany and GENCI representing France).

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will advance the European supercomputer landscape by completing the infrastructure pyramid at the top level with European leadership-class supercomputers. In a context of a strong international competition with USA, China and Japan, this development is highly expected by all stakeholders of HPC in Europe. For the European HPC users from science and industry, i.e. industrials and SMEs, the seamless integration of these new top-level systems and services into the existing European HPC-ecosystem is an issue of paramount importance.

The development of the European HPC-ecosystem was initiated by PRACE and its 26 partners in the past ten years. PRACE is supported by the PRACE Member States and through the EU by a series of implementation projects, and thus could weave a common European umbrella over national HPC ecosystems.

PRACE offers a comprehensive range of services, support activities and programs to foster the European HPC ecosystem including interaction with communities, flagship projects and data infrastructure activities, in particular concerning federated big data management. PRACE has become a trusted liaison between HPC-infrastructures and European HPC users, involving highly rated advisory committees with members from science and industry.

The very recent Scientific Case prepared by the PRACE Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) provides a comprehensive overview of the strategic importance of HPC in a growing number of areas, in particular, it emphasizes the convergence of extreme-scale simulation, big data analysis and artificial intelligence and it outlines future directions.

PRACE and EuroHPC have almost complementary missions. While EuroHPC acts as a high-level financing agency and must essentially be a top-down activity, PRACE is a science-driven infrastructure developed as a bottom-up activity. Joining both in a strong partnership will create best possible synergies for the benefit of European communities.

PRACE today offers a wide range of services and develops future services, especially in the area of federated Big Data analysis, joining with GÉANT to coordinate activities and to support the European Data Initiative. Appropriate financial models must ensure the sustainable operation of services.

The federated provision of EuroHPC’s pre-exascale and petascale systems and future exascale systems, complemented by national Tier-0/1 resources needs appropriate coordination between EuroHPC hosting members and national PRACE Tier-0 and Tier-1 hosting partners. This position paper advocates for a strong partnership between EuroHPC and PRACE, including key partners from the European ICT landscape. By pooling our creative forces and experience in Europe, we will achieve global leadership in technology, scientific, industrial and societal application of HPC.

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