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Primeur weekly 2015-04-13

Special

CloudSigma engages in having services built for end users to exploit data available in the public Cloud ...

Companies can benefit from four generic Cloud strategies to enhance their competitive advantage ...

The end of the Netherlands as supercomputer nation? ...

Exascale supercomputing

U.S. Department of Energy awards $200 million for next-generation supercomputer at its Argonne National Laboratory ...

The Cloud

NASA and IBM rally global developers around space exploration on the IBM Cloud ...

Oracle adds new data integration technologies to enterprise Big Data portfolio ...

IBM helps ecosystem of partners and clients build 'Internet of Things' solutions ...

EuroFlash

Codasip selects SuperTest for validation of application-specific C compilers ...

New CRC Press book provides global overview of high performance computing's industrial impact ...

RSC is the leading Russian supercomputer vendor in the local Top50 list ...

ISC 2015 is now open for advance registration ...

SHAPE Second Call awards 11 innovative projects ...

IBM and Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación celebrate a decade of collaboration ...

A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill ...

Research Organization of Information and Systems signed MoUs with CSC, DSI, and EUDAT ...

New HPC cluster benefiting University of Oxford ...

USFlash

Chancellor helps OSC dedicate Ruby Cluster ...

Celebrating Blue Waters ...

Blue Waters to help researchers tackle ebola ...

Neuromorphic: Rensselaer Researchers To Design the Next-Generation Supercomputer ...

Cosmic debris: Study looks inside the universe's most powerful explosions ...

U.S. scientists celebrate the restart of the Large Hadron Collider ...

UMass Amherst Launches Center for Data Science in major expansion of Big Data research, education and collaboration with industry ...

IBM Research sets new record for tape storage ...

The end of the Netherlands as supercomputer nation?


The Cartesius supercomputer at SURFsara
14 Apr 2015 Amsterdam - It was a hot weekend around supercomputing in the Netherlands. A national newspaper, De Volkskrant, ran a short article stating that scientists were alarmed because of the fact that the Netherlands would not have money for an investment in a new national supercomputer in the order of 100 million euro and that they would not be able to do ground breaking science and to work on even larger supercomputers around the world. Dozens of news sites ran the same story. However, is it true? 100 million euro is an amount of money the Netherlands has never, ever invested in a single machine. Investments do not even come close to that number. So what is really happening?

We talked to Peter Michielse, deputy director of the supercomputer centre SUFRsara, to get some more information.

There is no doubt that a number of Dutch scientists really do need the fastest supercomputers available to do their research and to stay at the forefront of their field. But they not only need supercomputers, but also fast networks, and Big Data infrastructures. In Europe, the term e-Infrastructure is used for all IT infrastructure that supports science. In the Netherlands, these large e-Infrastructures are mainly operated by the SURF organisations, SURFnet for the network, and SURFsara for the compute and data infrastructures. SURF intends to set aside money it yearly receives from the Dutch government for the next upgrades of the e-infrastructure.

"SURF misses about 8 million euro per year for future investments in the e-Infrastructure. Not only for the supercomputer but also for the networking and data e-Infrastructure. We did not get the money at the level that was intended some years ago. The Dutch government is aware of the problem and working on a solution", stated Peter Michielse. "The replacement for the Cartesius supercomputer is planned for 2017. If we do not have enough money by then, it will be difficult to have a TOP50 supercomputer in the Netherlands”, Peter Michielse continued.

The Dutch national supercomputer is big, and as such provides a lot of capacity for Dutch researchers. But some of the researchers need even more. In Europe this capacity - we are talking about the top supercomputers in Europe - is provided by PRACE. The Netherlands are also part of PRACE. If a researcher wants to get access to a top machine, he has to show his application really works on a large parallel supercomputer. "Running your application with success on a national supercomputer, is helping to show it really does”, stated Peter Michielse. "Without a national supercomputer as a stepping stone it will be very difficult to get access to Europe's top machines."

Dutch scientists have written an outline to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) explaining their vision for the future about supercomputing and e-Infrastructure needs and how it would enable their scientific work at the cutting edge. The vision is for the time frame 2020-2025. "The 100 million euro mentioned in De Volkskrant article was connected to this vision”, stated Peter Michielse, "not to the short term investment in the supercomputer."

KNAW is not directly involved in running, planning or funding e-Infrastructures. Its main role is to shape the Science and Art research agenda in the Netherlands, and to advise for instance the Dutch government on that. So it is the right platform for discussing what is needed for the future of research in the Netherlands, but not so much about day-to-day investments and operations.

So the good news is there is vision on where to go with e-Infrastructures in the Netherlands in the long run, but on the short term there needs to be some money found soon to be able to renew the supercomputer and other e-Infrastructure parts in the near future.

[This is the second revised version of this article.]

Ad Emmen

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2015-04-13

Special

CloudSigma engages in having services built for end users to exploit data available in the public Cloud ...

Companies can benefit from four generic Cloud strategies to enhance their competitive advantage ...

The end of the Netherlands as supercomputer nation? ...

Exascale supercomputing

U.S. Department of Energy awards $200 million for next-generation supercomputer at its Argonne National Laboratory ...

The Cloud

NASA and IBM rally global developers around space exploration on the IBM Cloud ...

Oracle adds new data integration technologies to enterprise Big Data portfolio ...

IBM helps ecosystem of partners and clients build 'Internet of Things' solutions ...

EuroFlash

Codasip selects SuperTest for validation of application-specific C compilers ...

New CRC Press book provides global overview of high performance computing's industrial impact ...

RSC is the leading Russian supercomputer vendor in the local Top50 list ...

ISC 2015 is now open for advance registration ...

SHAPE Second Call awards 11 innovative projects ...

IBM and Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación celebrate a decade of collaboration ...

A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill ...

Research Organization of Information and Systems signed MoUs with CSC, DSI, and EUDAT ...

New HPC cluster benefiting University of Oxford ...

USFlash

Chancellor helps OSC dedicate Ruby Cluster ...

Celebrating Blue Waters ...

Blue Waters to help researchers tackle ebola ...

Neuromorphic: Rensselaer Researchers To Design the Next-Generation Supercomputer ...

Cosmic debris: Study looks inside the universe's most powerful explosions ...

U.S. scientists celebrate the restart of the Large Hadron Collider ...

UMass Amherst Launches Center for Data Science in major expansion of Big Data research, education and collaboration with industry ...

IBM Research sets new record for tape storage ...