CINECA Selects E4 Computer with Dell and Vast for Galileo 100 HPC Upgrade

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April 23, 2024 — E4 Computer Engineering has won the contract to upgrade Galileo 100, CINECA Interuniversity Consortium’s supercomputer and Tier-1 cloud system for public scientific research capable of serving over 5000 users.

Among the requirements for the new HPC infrastructure are increasing the number of vCPUs for VM services by at least 10 times, balancing that increase with adequate storage and a multi-protocol storage infrastructure (files, blocks, objects) for long-term data storage and interactive processing.

“The Galileo100 upgrade project will bring about a significant advancement and diversification of the computational resources made available to Italian and European researchers,” says Sanzio Bassini, director of the supercomputing department of the CINECA inter-university consortium. “The project envisages a significant renewal of the computing infrastructure providing virtualisation, analysis and data visualisation services with the aim of providing users with a new cloud infrastructure for research – on a national and European scale – with computational resources and the necessary flexibility to enable the effective realisation of platforms dedicated to frontier scientific projects, in the fields of AI, digital twin, weather-climate, Industry 4.0, and all the main computational sciences”.

Another project requirement was the potential for economies of scale in the provisioning of high-end IT infrastructures dedicated to international research projects.

Faced with these requirements, E4’s engineers studied a solution based on OpenStack and selected Dell Technologies as their partner for the supply of the hardware components capable of meeting the tender requirements. Dell is familiar with Galileo 100, having designed and engineered its current system. At the heart of the winning design are Dell PowerEdge HS7710 solutions for CPU nodes and Dell PowerEdge R760xa for GPU nodes, the latter equipped with Nvidia L40s and Nvidia A30 PCIe GPUs.

“As a long-standing partner of CINECA, to which we are linked by a common vision and a shared commitment to provide the Italian research community with the best that technology has to offer today, we approached this tender confident of proposing a winning solution, on the strength of our experience and ability to imagine and create solutions of the highest technological level,” commented Cosimo Damiano Gianfreda, CEO of E4 Computer Engineering. “In order to realise the best solution, we wanted leading companies in their respective fields such as Dell and VAST Data with us, together with whom we initiated a collaboration and co-design process that resulted in a proposal that CINECA selected, capable of combining performance, scalability and modularity, going beyond the requirements of the tender itself. My sincerest thanks go to them and of course to the entire E4 team for this very important result.”

In the proposal definition phase, E4 and Dell were joined by VAST Data, which offers a high-performance AI platform dedicated to data management.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to support CINECA in its mission of supporting research and innovation projects in Italy and Europe in the field of computational science,” said Roberto Dognini, Director of Regional Sales Italy at VAST Data. “As one of the key pillars of the Galileo 100 project, the VAST Data platform will enable CINECA to create, manage and protect a 50 petabyte multi-protocol database connected to various computing infrastructures and the European supercomputer Leonardo. Together with the great professionals and talents of E4 we are enabling CINECA to further advance by offering performance, competitiveness and Artificial Intelligence services to the country.”

The new solution, designed in collaboration with Dell and E4, represents yet another stage in the technological journey that has seen E4 work alongside CINECA for years in developing top-level technological infrastructures in the field of supercomputing that operate at the service of the development of applications and frontier research projects, supporting scientific innovation in Italy, Europe and globally.

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