EPCC invests £2.4m in Tier-2 Cirrus system
EPCC has received £2.4m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of the research council’s £20m investment in six new Tier-2 HPC centres.
EPCC has used this grant to extend Cirrus, its SGI ICE XA system, transforming it into a major multi-core HPC system with 10,080 state-of-the-art Intel Broadwell cores, and increasing its storage to 2.4PB. 2PB of this storage is a new Tier 2 Research Data Facility built around a DDN WOS object store.
Increasing HPC capability and uptake
The new centres will support the efficient use of ARCHER, the UK national HPC system hosted and managed by EPCC.
The HPC ecosystem in the UK ranges from Tier-1 systems (eg ARCHER, the UK’s national HPC service), to Tier-2 and Tier-3 (local university systems).
While many universities might be expected to host a Tier-3 system, Tier-2 is beyond the capabilities of most. This investment by EPSRC will increase the computing capability on offer to UK researchers from the EPSRC community, and it is expected that many users of the new Tier-2 systems will move on to make use of ARCHER in the future.
This tiered approach to HPC is part of EPSRC’s core strategy for research computing.
Composite Tier-2 system
In addition, EPCC is taking a leadership role by providing free use of its SAFE system administration software, which supports easy user management and reporting on advanced computing services. This will allow the new Tier-2 centres across the UK to operate as a single, joined-up system from a user management point of view.
“EPCC is very proud to have won this funding which has allowed us to hugely expand our Cirrus system. This will greatly benefit our scientific researchers and provide our industry users with a much larger resource.” EPCC Director, Professor Mark Parsons
The service will be formally opened on 1st April 2017.
EPSRC press release: Six High Performance Computing centres to be officially launched
EPCC's HPC services for industry
HPC resources in the UK:
EPSRC’s strategy for the developing landscape of Tier-2 HPC in the UK: https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/files/research/tier2hpcstrategy/