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Primeur weekly 2018-12-03

Quantum computing

University of Southern California scientists find a way to enhance the performance of quantum computers ...

An important step towards completely secure quantum communication networks ...

Quantum computing at scale: Australian scientists achieve compact, sensitive qubit readout ...

Atos launches construction of global R&D Lab to drive innovation in Quantum Computing ...

Focus on Europe

University of Liverpool and IBM sign joint study agreement for research and innovation ...

Atos strengthens computing capacity of national supercomputing centre in Czech Republic with the new BullSequana supercomputer ...

The whole fleet of EU Commission Flagship projects meets for the first time at ICT Vienna ...

Middleware

DDN Storage and CSIR-CEERI enter partnership to provide Artificial Intelligence as a Service solutions ...

Hardware

Paving the way: An accelerator on a microchip ...

Five nanosecond decision-making ...

European partners build efficient pilot production line for photonic chips ...

WekaIO places in top five of the Virtual Institute's IO-500 10 Node Challenge ...

University of Birmingham to deploy largest IBM POWER AI cluster in the UK ...

HPE to acquire BlueData ...

Applications

Investment helps establish Artificial Intelligence-Supercomputing Facility in Edmonton ...

NCSA Director William Gropp and NCSA Affiliate Narayana Aluru named AAAS Fellows ...

SDSC's Comet supercomputer used to create detailed flu virus simulations ...

A new way to see stress - using supercomputers ...

Computational chemistry supports research on new semiconductor technologies ...

A big step toward the practical application of 3D holography with high-performance computers ...

Vanguard to tap Cray for new Stargate Imaging security solution ...

The Cloud

VMware to drive adoption of "as-a-service" model for on-premises data centres with new solutions for AWS outposts ...

Amazon Web Services announces eight new storage services and capabilities ...

E8 Storage partners with Clustar Technology, expanding its global presence ...

Fujitsu adopts Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for global management decision-making assistance system ...

Red Hat acquires hybrid Cloud data management provider NooBaa ...

University of Birmingham to deploy largest IBM POWER AI cluster in the UK

27 Nov 2018 Birmingham - Researchers at the University of Birmingham are set to benefit from the largest IBM POWER9 Artificial Intelligence (AI) cluster in the UK, delivering unprecedented performance for AI workloads. Working with OCF, the high-performance compute, storage and data analytics integrator, the University will integrate a total of 11 IBM POWER9-based IBM Power Systems servers into its existing high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure, the Birmingham Environment for Academic Research (BEAR).

Birmingham initially deployed two IBM Power Systems AC922 servers, powered by POWER9 CPUs with the industry's only CPU-to-GPU NVIDIA NVLink interconnect, in September 2018. However, the Advanced Research Computing (ARC) team soon realised that it needed more computational power tailored to the ever-increasing AI workloads generated by the University's researchers, delivering ground-breaking computational vision analysis and to solve life sciences challenges, such as improving cancer diagnosis.

The University will now add an additional nine IBM Power Systems AC922 warm water-cooled nodes, each equipped with four NVIDIA Tesla V100 16GB Tensor Core GPUs, 1TB of system memory, dual 18 core POWER9 CPUs and Mellanox 100Gb EDR InfiniBand. The solution uses IBM PowerAI Enterprise software, unlocking potential for accelerated computing, capitalising on the largest IBM POWER9 cluster in the UK. IBM will also support use of the new systems by providing comprehensive training and support to Birmingham's researchers in partnership with ARC.

"It's very important to us as a research-led institution that we are at the forefront of data research which means we are always looking at ways to make AI quicker and more accessible for our researchers", stated Simon Thompson, Research Computing Infrastructure Architect at the University of Birmingham. "With the sheer amount of data, the common questions from researchers are how can we analyse it fast enough and how can we make the process even quicker? With our early deployment of the two IBM POWER9 servers we have seen what is possible. By scaling up, we can keep-pace with the escalating demand and offer the computational capacity and capability to attract leading researchers to the University."

This significant enhancement to BEAR will mean an even more powerful and versatile computing environment to serve researchers. For example, fellows from The Alan Turing Institute looking at early diagnosis of and new therapies for heart disease and cancer, will use AI to run faster diagnostics in the future. In contrast, researchers in the physical sciences are similarly using machine learning and data science approaches to quantify the 4D (3D plus time) microstructures of advanced materials collected at national large synchrotron facilities such as the Diamond Light Source. This research expects to use the large model support provided by IBM PowerAI software to analyse TBs of data being generated daily; currently an almost impossible task.

"We are thrilled that the University of Birmingham has decided to invest in building the UK's largest POWER9 AI cluster", stated Simon Robertson, Director, IBM Servers, UK & Ireland. "We are proud to see the practical application of IBM technology used by researchers across the University and beyond."

"We're delighted to work with the University on this initiative", stated Julian Fielden, Managing Director of OCF. "AI workloads are driving data intensive challenges that can only be met with accelerated infrastructure, such as IBM's POWER9. The University is leading the way with this impressive project and will continue to attract world-class researchers with this type of innovation."

Energy efficiency is also key, and the University has shown its commitment by investing in the reduction of energy consumption. The University boasts the UK's first purpose built water-cooled research focused data centre meaning that 85% of the heat is recovered directly through the water-cooled systems, delivering impressive energy savings by minimising the cooling overheads. The top end range of IBM POWER9-based AC922 servers includes warm water-cooled nodes, where water is taken directly across the CPUs and GPUs at temperatures up to 35C. A unique installation in the UK, the data centre doesn't use any air-cooling systems and accommodates the IBM systems running alongside "direct to node" water cooled technology from other vendors.

Simon Thompson concluded: "With OCF as our partner, we have the right guidance, skills and expertise to continually move BEAR forward. It’s not just about having the largest cluster, it's about providing cutting-edge HPC tools for our researchers from both traditional and non-traditional disciplines, who will be able to process data faster and generate new findings, achieving greater research impact."

Source: University of Birmingham

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2018-12-03

Quantum computing

University of Southern California scientists find a way to enhance the performance of quantum computers ...

An important step towards completely secure quantum communication networks ...

Quantum computing at scale: Australian scientists achieve compact, sensitive qubit readout ...

Atos launches construction of global R&D Lab to drive innovation in Quantum Computing ...

Focus on Europe

University of Liverpool and IBM sign joint study agreement for research and innovation ...

Atos strengthens computing capacity of national supercomputing centre in Czech Republic with the new BullSequana supercomputer ...

The whole fleet of EU Commission Flagship projects meets for the first time at ICT Vienna ...

Middleware

DDN Storage and CSIR-CEERI enter partnership to provide Artificial Intelligence as a Service solutions ...

Hardware

Paving the way: An accelerator on a microchip ...

Five nanosecond decision-making ...

European partners build efficient pilot production line for photonic chips ...

WekaIO places in top five of the Virtual Institute's IO-500 10 Node Challenge ...

University of Birmingham to deploy largest IBM POWER AI cluster in the UK ...

HPE to acquire BlueData ...

Applications

Investment helps establish Artificial Intelligence-Supercomputing Facility in Edmonton ...

NCSA Director William Gropp and NCSA Affiliate Narayana Aluru named AAAS Fellows ...

SDSC's Comet supercomputer used to create detailed flu virus simulations ...

A new way to see stress - using supercomputers ...

Computational chemistry supports research on new semiconductor technologies ...

A big step toward the practical application of 3D holography with high-performance computers ...

Vanguard to tap Cray for new Stargate Imaging security solution ...

The Cloud

VMware to drive adoption of "as-a-service" model for on-premises data centres with new solutions for AWS outposts ...

Amazon Web Services announces eight new storage services and capabilities ...

E8 Storage partners with Clustar Technology, expanding its global presence ...

Fujitsu adopts Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for global management decision-making assistance system ...

Red Hat acquires hybrid Cloud data management provider NooBaa ...