ECMWF is focused on the development and operation of global models and data-assimilation systems for the dynamics, thermodynamics, and composition of the Earth and its surrounding systems. An independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 European nations, the centre provides operational, extended-range, and seasonal global forecasts 365 days a year, as well as specialized research such as wave forecasts and global atmospheric composition.
"I am looking forward to working with Cray to enable us to continue improving the skill of our weather predictions. The Cray system will be a strong foundation to meet our strategic, operational and research objectives", stated ECMWF Director-General, Professor Alan Thorpe. "ECMWF's history of using supercomputers dates back to 1979 when the Centre issued its first operational medium-range weather forecast. Our European member states will all continue to benefit from the ground-breaking weather research we can provide on this new system."
"ECMWF is one of the premier weather organisations in the world and we are thrilled to start a long and close partnership with the Centre", stated Dr. Ulla Thiel, Cray vice president, Europe. "It is also an exciting message to the earth sciences community that ECMWF has selected Cray technology. Cray's leading edge products, support and services will strongly support ECMWF's mandate to reliably deliver superior meteorological forecasting products and research."
The Cray multi-petaflops supercomputing infrastructure at ECMWF is designed for operational resiliency featuring two Cray XC30 systems and a multi-petabyte Cray Sonexion storage system. The Sonexion system is a fully integrated, scale-out Lustre system designed for a broad range of big data and high performance computing (HPC) workloads. It offers compact design for maximum density and can reduce the storage footprint by 50 percent for petascale systems.
Previously code-named "Cascade", the Cray XC30 supercomputer is Cray's most advanced HPC system and is engineered to meet the most demanding performance challenges of HPC users. The Cray XC30 supercomputer features the Aries system interconnect; a Dragonfly network topology that frees applications from locality constraints; an innovative cooling system that utilizes a transverse airflow to lower customers' total cost of ownership; the next-generation of the scalable, high performance Cray Linux Environment that also supports a wide range of ISV applications; Cray's HPC optimized programming environment; and the ability to handle a wide variety of processor types, including Intel Xeon processors, Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, and NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators.
Consisting of products and multi-year services, the contract is valued at more than $65 million in total revenue and the system is expected to be put into production in 2014. The contract includes options for future upgrades and future technologies.