Podcast: Bright Computing forges eX3 at Simula Research Laboratory

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In this SpotlightON podcast, Terry Rush from Bright Computing spends time with Simula’s Research Director for Software Engineering and HPC, Professor Are Magnus Bruaset, and Senior Research Engineer at Simula, Tore Heide Larsen. Together they discuss the reasons that Simula chose to deploy Bright technology and the role that it plays in the Simula HPC architecture.

In January, Bright announced that Simula Research Laboratory has chosen Bright Cluster Manager to manage its multi architecture, multi-OS high-performance computing (HPC) environment. Established in 2001, Simula Research Laboratory AS was organized to create knowledge about fundamental scientific challenges that are of genuine value to society. Simula has since established eX³, which has become the previously missing national resource for research on exascale computing in Norway.

The eX3 infrastructure allows Norwegian HPC researchers and their international collaborators to explore bleeding-edge hardware and software that will be instrumental to the coming generation of supercomputers. This calls for a unique system offering extreme heterogeneity at all technology levels. In addition to the host institution, Simula, the project consortium also includes the national HPC management body Sigma2, HPC research groups from the University of Tromsø, NTNU, and the University of Bergen, as well as the HPC technology providers Graphcore, Dolphin Interconnect Solutions, and Numascale.

For such a high profile and important project, a fully supported cluster manager was essential, and Simula found Bright to be the only vendor to provide cluster manager software that can support a heterogeneous computer architecture. Following careful evaluation of various cluster management solutions, Simula chose Bright Cluster Manager to provide comprehensive management of eX3, enabling the organization to administer its HPC platform as a single entity; provisioning the hardware, operating systems and workload managers from a unified interface.

Bright now sits at the heart of the installation, helping Simula to get new softweare deployed quickly and providing a complete management view―and control over―the six racks currently installed. The platform is highly dynamic and will grow by 16 more nodes next month, four of which are top bin Huawei Kunpeng 920 nodes and 12 of which are IO nodes AMD Epyc “Rome”; all with PCIe Gen4. Bright will take care of the deployment of these additional resources, making any future transitions and upgrades a seamless and pain-free experience.

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