Appro nabs exclusive supercomputing deal with three US National Laboratories

8 Jun 2011 Milpitas - The Appro Xtreme-X supercomputers were selected for a major joint procurement by the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Multiple systems will be delivered to the three national labs in NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) programme: Lawrence Livermore (LLNL), Los Alamos (LANL) and Sandia (SNL). This contract represents the second time that NNSA has chosen Appro as its multi-year exclusive supplier of comprehensive capacity cluster systems across all three Labs.

The Tri-Lab Linux Capacity Cluster 2 (TLCC2) award is a multi-million and multi-year contract to provide multiple procurement options exceeding 3 petaFLOPS/s (quadrillion floating point operations per second) in "capacity" computing. The agreement details specific configurations, pricing and performance criteria that will be used to fulfill all of the Labs' HPC capacity cluster requirements. The contract also calls for the delivery of complete factory-integrated and tested systems with HPC professional and support services. The agreement is effective immediately and extends through 2012.

The Appro Xtreme-X Supercomputers will provide needed computing capacity for NNSA's day-to-day work managing the nation’s aging nuclear deterrent. In addition, these supercomputers will support NNSA Life Extension Programme (LEP) and investigations into technical issues related to aging weapons systems, efforts critical to ensuring the safety, security and reliability of the nuclear weapons in the stockpile as they age well beyond their intended deployment life. HPC is a cornerstone of that effort and the computational expertise of the three labs is united under NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) programme.

The Appro Xtreme-X Supercomputers will consist of several "Scalable Unit" (SU) cluster building blocks based on the new Appro GreenBlade platform powered by the next generation Intel Xeon processor, codenamed "SandyBridge" interconnected with QLogic QDR IB (Quad Data Rate InfiniBand). Each SU represents 50 teraflops of computing power that will be assembled and integrated into supercomputing systems in Appro's California factory, then deployed among the three Lab sites. The Appro next generation platform features platinum-rated power supplies and high-efficient fans, integrated console management server capabilities as well as design support from Intel's forthcoming 'many integrated core' (MIC), codenamed 'Knights Corner'.

"This is a strong success story for Appro and its Xtreme-X Supercomputer solution based on a modular Scalable Unit architecture", stated Earl Joseph, IDC Programme Vice President for Technical Computing. "Appro captured a large multi-year HPC procurement contract to assist The Department of Energy's NNSA's programme to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the nation's critical assets. In 2011, IDC forecasts a 6% to 7% growth in yearly supercomputing sales over the next 5 years."

"These computing clusters will provide needed computing capacity for NNSA's day-to-day work managing the nation’s nuclear deterrent", stated Don Cook, NNSA’s Deputy Administrator for Defense Programmes. "This Tri-Lab effort will help reduce costs, increase operational efficiencies, and facilitate collaborations that benefit our nation's security, support academia, and promote American competitiveness."

"We are incredibly honoured that Appro Supercomputers continue to play a prominent role in this important Tri-Lab Linux Capacity Cluster program reinforcing Appro's leadership position in High Performance Computing", stated Daniel Kim, CEO of Appro. "These three National Laboratories have a long, rich history of fielding the world's most powerful supercomputers to tackle some of the world's most difficult problems. As a result of this award, Appro will provide the NNSA/ASC Programme Office supercomputing solution for its scientists and engineers to research, develop, test and evaluate breakthrough technologies that will strengthen our national security."

"Intel is excited to collaborate with Appro to deliver this innovative solution, including next generation Intel Xeon processor, code named Sandy Bridge-EP, as well as Intel's Server Board which is optimized for memory bandwidth performance and maximum density, with a flexible IO configuration", stated Lisa Graff, vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Platforms & Services Division at Intel. "Intel is delighted that the Tri Labs, leaders in high performance computing, have chosen Intel and Appro as the foundation for this world class supercomputing deployment."
Source: Appro