The selection of PBS Professional occurred as part of a Cray contract to provide the Met Office with multiple Cray XC supercomputers and Cray Sonexion storage systems. Announced in Q4 2014 and consisting of three phases spanning multiple years, the $128 million deal is the largest international contract in Cray's history.
"Altair is a leader in delivering powerful and reliable HPC workload and simulation technologies, and their software will play an important role in the Cray supercomputers at the Met Office", stated Barry Bolding, Cray's vice president of marketing and business development. "We are pleased to support the Met Office in its role as a national resource providing high resolution weather and climate forecasting, and we have no doubt that our Cray systems powered by PBS Professional will ensure the Met Office accomplishes their mission of providing seamless forecasting services to British businesses, the government and the public."
Headquartered in Exeter, England, the Met Office is UK's national weather service and is recognized as one of the world's most accurate forecasters. The Met Office has a long and storied history, having been set up in 1854 for the protection of lives at sea and ultimately evolving into a cutting-edge science organisation with the broader mandate of protecting public and commercial interests in the event of potentially dangerous weather events. The Met Office uses more than 10 million weather observations and an advanced atmospheric model to create more than 4.5 million forecasts and briefings daily, delivered to a broad range of constituents including government entities, the private sector, the general populace, branches of the armed forces and other organisations.
"At the Met Office, our mission is to provide the most accurate possible information about how weather and climate changes, both near and long term, are likely to affect our daily lives", stated Rob Varley, Met Office Chief Executive. "We need the highest levels of performance in the systems that make this level of prediction possible, which is why we choose proven, reliable industry leaders like Cray and Altair. The social and economic impact is significant - improved accuracy on our part means better decision-making for deploying local resources in storms, keeping airports open in weather crises, and much more."
"Altair is honoured to collaborate on this historic installation at the Met Office", stated James Scapa, founder and chief executive officer, Altair. "Partnering with Cray to operate some of the largest supercomputers on the planet for public safety is a privilege, and we are pleased to support accurate weather prediction with our solutions."
Used by thousands of companies worldwide, PBS Professional enables engineers in HPC environments to improve productivity, optimize resource utilization and efficiency, and simplify the process of cluster workload management. PBS Professional is the flagship product in Altair's PBS Works suite.
Capable of more than 23,000 trillion calculations a second, the Met Office system will be one of the world's fastest HPC systems. The final configurations, which will include Cray XC40 systems as well as next-generation Cray XC systems with current and future Intel Xeon processors, are expected to deliver 13 times more supercomputing power than current systems. Multiple system deliveries are expected between 2014 and 2017, with the major deliveries between 2015 and 2017.