16 Jan 2014 Hannover - The Lower Saxony's Minister for Science and Culture, Dr. Gabriele Heinen-Kljajic, on January 16, 2014 has officially inaugurated the operation of the two subparts of the HLRN-III at the Leibniz University in Hannover. At the same time also the Berlin counterpart at the Konrad Zuse Institute in Berlin-Dahlem has been started.
"Gottfried" and "Konrad" are the names of the two subparts of the supercomputer in honour of the polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and the computer pioneer Konrad Zuse. The two systems are interconnected between the Leibniz University in Hannover and the Konrad Zuse Center for Information Technology in Berlin. The states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein and the federal government bear half of the investment costs of 30 million euro. The state of Lower Saxony takes more than seven million euro. "Seven states have joined forces to strengthen cutting-edge research in northern Germany. Such co-operation is still unique in the German research landscape", stated the Minister.
As in Berlin the HLRN-Union in Hanover has now available four Cray XC30 cabinets that are connected to each other via the own Cray Aries network. The MPP system with a peak performance of 329 teraflop/s consists of 17,856 cores in 744 nodes, each with 2 x 12 core Intel Ivy Bridge processors and 64 GB RAM. The working directory under Lustre is 1.4 PiB large. In addition, an SMP system of 32 nodes Intel Sandy Bridge processors, each with 32 cores, 256 GB RAM and 12 TB of local disk space has been installed at the Hannover site, which is particularly suitable for storage-hungry applications, such as from chemistry.
For the HLRN-III an advanced cooling system was installed in Hannover, which can be used with free cooling and thus operated very economically almost all year round. A dynamic, uninterruptible power supply protects the system against power failures lasting up to 20 hours. Compared with its predecessor, the HLRN-III is more than twice as fast at about half the energy needs in the first stage. For the end of 2014, the second phase is projected with a tenfold increase in application performance.
The HLRN-III has as much computing capacity and as much memory as about 25,000 modern PCs. In contrast to 25,000 PCs, however, the 85,000 processor cores and 222 TB of main memory of the HLRN-III can be used in the final stage at the same time together for a large computer programme, while the 25,000 PCs each offer only memory and CPUs for much smaller computational problems. If one compares the computing power of modern computers with the speed of a snail, the computational speed of the HLRN-III is approximately that of a cheetah with a running speed of 100km/h.
Supercomputers have become an essential prerequisite for excellent research services. Currently, in 125 major projects a total of 565 scientists use the computing power of "Gottfried" and "Konrad". Important
application areas include the optimization of wind turbines, climate and marine research, including the investigation and prediction of hurricanes or the development of engines, that produce less noise and emissions.
The two computers in Hannover and Berlin are connected using a 10-Gigabit data line. The possible amount of data that can be transported in a second via this data line, corresponds to almost one million pages. In a second expansion phase the supercomputer will exceed by the end of the year 2014, the power of the old system by tenfold. The peak power will allow then 2.6 petaflops, i.e, 2.6 quadrillion calculations per second. The hard disk space is equipped with a capacity of 8.2 petabytes, which is about a
storage capacity of eight trillion books with 500 pages. In comparison, the largest in the world existing Library of Congress in Washington Library houses only 31 million books.