"The procurement of a new data management and computing environment succeeded in ensuring that we received the latest technology and the best solution for the needs of Finnish research community. Mahti's massive computing capacity completes this entity", stated Sebastian von Alfthan, Development Manager at CSC, who led the procurement project.
Mahti is the robust supercomputer in CSC's environment, geared towards medium to large scale simulations. Mahti was opened for researchers' and students' use on 26 August 2020.
Puhti is a general-purpose supercomputer for a wide range of use cases. Puhti was launched in autumn 2019. Puhti Artificial Intelligence Partition Puhti-AI is a GPU-accelerated supercomputer and is specifically designed for artificial intelligence research and artificial intelligence applications.
The entire CSC computing environment is served by a common data management solution, Allas, that is based on CEPH object storage technology and has a storage capacity of 12 Petabytes.
Over the last few months, Mahti has been used by selected researchers and has enabled them to make major advances on their research projects, which include: modelling the effect of climate change on Antarctic ice sheets and sea level, using AI to simulate of carbon nanotube growth and reconstruction of the Carrington geomagnetic space storm effect.
Mahti is available to all researchers in Finnish universities and research institutes to support use cases such as supporting drug design and development, extensive molecular dynamics simulations, or to model space weather and climate change as well as speed up the fight against COVID-19.
Janne Ahonen, Country Manager Finland & Baltics, at Atos, stated: "The Mahti supercomputer of CSC, the fastest computer in the Nordics, will benefit the Finnish universities and research institutes, the ecosystem of different local companies, and the Kainuu region. It's an example of what can be achieved with European cooperation, and a system delivery that Atos is very proud of. We wish there will be great scientific discoveries made possible by the high computing power of Mahti."
"Supercomputer Mahti Inauguration completes our national next-generation computing and data management environment. It offers resources for the most demanding parallel computing applications and thus helps Finnish researchers to solve their research challenges among the first in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is a good indication of the importance of bleeding edge national research infrastructure. We can react quickly and allocate resources to research when a critical need arises", stated Pekka Lehtovuori, Director of Computing Services at CSC.
In 2018, CSC - the Finnish IT Center for Science Ltd chose Atos as the single vendor to deliver its upcoming CSC computing environment which consists of the next-generation supercomputer and data management systems.
As a trusted partner in high-performance computing, Atos has designed the BullSequana range of HPC servers to provide maximum flexibility in terms of interconnect, processor type, power, and cooling, and cover the widest possible spectrum of applications. Given that, the BullSequana XH2000 enables customers to benefit from the new capacities of hybrid workloads by incorporating cutting-edge networking standards, processing components and energy efficiency innovations.
On this BullSequana XH2000 configuration for CSC, Atos has integrated the latest Mellanox with HDR200 interconnect and AMD EPYC 2nd Gen 7H12 processors.
The procurement of the new environment was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture's data management and computing research infrastructure development programme 2017−2021. This development programme invests 37 million euro in data management and computing infrastructures and related services. The Government decided on financing of 33 million euro in 2017 and additional budget financing of 4 million euro for artificial intelligence computing in 2018. CSC's own and the expanding user base's expertise will be strengthened by 2 million euro.
The procurement itself started in early 2018 as a two-stage tender based on a negotiated procedure. CSC and the winning vendor Atos signed on 12 December 2018.