The NIIF Institute is running a programme that serves as a framework for the development and operation of the research network throughout Hungary. NIIF Institute's shared IT infrastructure is used by many of the country's leading higher education and academic research establishments for a wide range of computing-intensive applications, including many self-developed codes.
The NIIF Institute's distributed supercomputing infrastructure consists of four main centres in the University of Debrecen, Pécs University, University of Szeged and Budapest NIIF centre. The systems operate together to create a single, large virtual supercomputer.
"We were looking to upgrade computing power with an architecture including both cluster and shared memory computing to meet the diverse requirements of our academic users, while also meeting strict targets for reduced power consumption", stated Dr. Tamas Maray, technical director and head of R&D at NIIF Institute. "With the new SGI supercomputing infrastructure we are able to serve the needs of domestic basic research, as well as keep up with other countries in the context of the evolving European Research Area and the EU-funded integrated European supercomputing infrastructure."
SGI's distributor for Hungary, Silicon Computers Kft., supplied the University of Debrecen with two
water-cooled racks of SGI Altix ICE 8400 EX with dual-plane QDR all-to-all topology, consisting of 1536 cores of Intel Xeon 5680 processor series running at 3.33 GHz, containing more than 6TB of memory. The cluster uses a 672TB Lustre file system for storage. SGI also provided the University of Pecs with three water-cooled racks of SGI Altix UV 1000 with 1152 cores of Intel Xeon 7542 processor series and 6TB of shared memory. As a single system image it gains the advantage of directly attaching 672TB of storage capacity.
Additionally, both sites are running a software stack consisting of standard Linux distribution SLES 11, SGI Management Suite and SGI Performance Suite, giving technical application users and developers critical tools to greatly boost the performance and scalability of their core applications. Both solutions also contain visualization nodes built on SGI Altix XE500 with NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800 high-end professional graphics.
SGI and its solutions were chosen due to the company's technology leadership, superior price/performance ratio, and by providing one of the largest SMP systems on the market.
"The Institute chose Altix UV as the only highly scalable platform able to effectively run applications requiring large memory and cluster-oriented jobs, combined with its ease of programme development compared to cluster programming", explained Gabor Lehoczki, general manager of SGI partner Silicon Computers Kft. He continued: "Altix ICE, meanwhile, was the fastest machine which fit the required power consumption envelope at a reasonable price."