The technology from Numascale enables the use of commodity servers to build scalable computer systems, which share all processor, memory and I/O resources under one operating system. The NumaConnect Adapter cards and fabric connects the IBM x3755 servers to a single image ccNUMA system. This approach is more cost efficient than alternative ways of building large shared memory systems, and much easier to deploy and use than standard clusters.
"We believe the NumaConnect technology will revolutionize the way to perform advanced computation, whether in academic research or in the industry at large. PRACE provides a perfect framework for this collaborative effort to evaluate NumaConnect and we are very proud to work with the University of Oslo, IBM and their partners in this effort", stated CEO Kare Lochsen of Numascale.
From life science, to global warming and the mysteries of the universe NumaConnect is especially suitable for tasks that require large memory or for problems consisting of tightly coupled elements. These type of problems are common within a broad set of applications including important research areas at UiO as life sciences, climate research and solar physics. The availability of a system with one large shared memory, makes it easier for the researchers to program their models without having to partition their problems, like they do today using MPI and clusters.
"The NumaConnect technology allows us to attack more research problems than we can by using
existing technology", stated Hans Eide, Manager of Scientific Computing at USIT, University Center for Information Technology at UiO.
"IBM sees possibilities for this technology in several areas, and we are proud to support the University of Oslo with our deep expertise in High Performance Computing and advanced server technology", stated Erling Weibust, IBM's HPC expert.
This project is being followed closely both from the European Union and the Norwegian Research Council. The funding for PRACE comes from the EUs 7th Framework Programme, and the mission of the PRACE RI (Research Infrastructure) is to enable high impact European scientific discovery and engineering research and development across all disciplines to enhance European competitiveness for the benefit of society. PRACE RI has 21 member countries whose representative organizations are creating a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure, providing access to computing and data management resources and services for large-scale scientific and engineering applications at the highest performance level.
The prototype NumaConnect system to be installed at the University of Oslo is part of a work-package within PRACE 1st Implementation Phase (1IP) to assess emerging technologies on the road to exascale systems. Several high competence institutions within the PRACE project are partners in the
project to assess the Numascale technology.
"This NUMAcluster will be an attractive resource for scientists as part of the PRACE research infrastructure, when it becomes available in the pilot phase and the new technology is thoroughly tested", stated Jacko Koster, CEO of UNINETT Sigma, administrator of the Norwegian National Infrastructure for High Performance Computing (NOTUR).