HPC facilities

Accelerating high performance data pipelines using EPCC's supercomputing facilities

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 15 Jun 2021 | 12:26

illuminate logoIlluminate, a commercial collaborator of EPCC, has a mission to accelerate informed decisions by providing their customers with the means to find specific needle in a haystack data points from the mass of their network traffic. As networks evolve, they are continuously innovating to ensure that their data pipelines operate at maximum efficiency.

Data analytics pipelines have three main functions: data ingestion, processing, and analysis. The data ingestion stage focuses on obtaining or extracting data from a range of data sources and importing it into systems that can enable processing and analysis. This is followed by data processing to validate, transform and enrich it, and load it into some form of queryable data storage, such as a data lake. Finally, we utilise Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning processes to build models from the data in the lake and use them to gain insight.

 

Software use on ARCHER2 - an initial look

Author: Andy Turner
Posted: 24 May 2021 | 11:11

Back in February, I reviewed the usage of different research software on ARCHER over a large period of its life. Now we have just come to the end of the first month of charged use on the ARCHER2 4-cabinet system I thought it would be interesting to have an initial look at how people are using the new system in terms of research software use and job sizes.

Meet the ARCHER2 HPC Systems team

Author: Kieran Leach
Posted: 14 Apr 2021 | 10:46

The HPC Systems Team provides the System Development and System Operations functions for ARCHER2 - but who are we and what do we do?

We are a team of fifiteen System Administrators and Developers who work to deploy, manage, and maintain the services and systems offered by EPCC, as well as the infrastructure required to host and support all of EPCC’s services and systems.

EPCC's Advanced Computing Facility: planning for future growth

Author: Paul Clark
Posted: 1 Feb 2021 | 12:10

Since 2005, the Advanced Computing Facility (ACF) has housed all the major systems managed by EPCC. It has expanded and evolved since its creation, becoming one of the most innovative and efficient facilities of its kind in the world.

The building and its internals have changed greatly since I started in February 2018, as part of a drive to ensure that our wider master planning for the site is reflected in what visitors see. This includes a video wall using Raspberry Pis and PiWall software to allow us demonstrate HPC visualisations to visitors.

We are developing a site-wide Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) approach which allows us to view real-time data or room and system performance on screens outside of different rooms and on our video wall.

In addition, the ACF has had significant investment over the years, most recently with the creation of Computer Room 4, the home of the new Edinburgh International Data Facility (EIDF). We also host and support a number of other HPC systems at the ACF, such as the National Tier-2 system, Cirrus. The first phase of the next UK national supercomputing service, ARCHER2, has also been installed.

EPCC’s Advanced Computing Facility: how it all began

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 29 Jan 2021 | 11:03

EPCC's Advanced Computing Facility (ACF) was born through necessity – but the opportunity was taken to create an expandable and highly-efficient facility that attracted future business including national computing services. Mike Brown, EPCC’s Director of HPC Operations until 2017, gives an overview of the development of this unique building.

Update: The Edinburgh International Data Facility

Author: Rob Baxter
Posted: 13 Jan 2021 | 10:35

Work on the Edinburgh International Data Facility has passed three key milestones, bringing the infrastructure that will underpin the £600m Data-Driven Innovation Programme significantly closer to reality.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, EIDF’s home, Computer Room 4 (cr4) at the University’s Advanced Computing Facility, completed its main construction phase at the end of the third quarter of 2020 and cr4 has entered its commissioning and fit-out phase.  If everything goes to plan, we will start to build infrastructure in the room from January 2021.

On-demand computing and data solutions for industry at EPCC

Author: Thomas Blyth
Posted: 27 Aug 2020 | 13:54

Cirrus is a Tier-2 state-of-the-art advanced computing facility available to industry and academia. Hosted and managed by EPCC, it provides an ideal platform for solving computational, simulation, modelling, and data science challenges. 

The system was recently upgraded via a £3.5m funding award from the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. This included the addition of 144 NVIDIA V100 GPUs and a 256TB high-performance storage layer for the most demanding data-streaming applications. 

Edinburgh International Data Facility Summer 2020 update

Author: Rob Baxter
Posted: 30 Jul 2020 | 11:44

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, work is proceeding on the development of the Edinburgh International Data Facility (EIDF) and the advanced computing facility that will host it.

The EIDF is the underpinning data infrastructure of the activities of the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland Data Driven Innovation (DDI) Programme. It supports data and computing activities across all areas of the Programme and was, until February 2020, known by its original name of World Class Data Infrastructure (WCDI).

First phase of ARCHER2 installed at Advanced Computing Facility

Author: Lorna Smith
Posted: 15 Jul 2020 | 15:41

ARCHER2, the new UK national supercomputing service, is a world-class advanced computing resource for UK researchers. The service is due to commence later in 2020, replacing the current ARCHER service. 

The four-cabinet Shasta Mountain system completed its journey from Cray’s Chippewa Falls factory in the US to EPCC’s Advanced Computing Facility in July. This is the first phase of the 23-cabinet system of ARCHER2, the UK’s next national supercomputing service.

First phase of ARCHER2 arrives in Edinburgh!

Author: Lorna Smith
Posted: 13 Jul 2020 | 10:45

The four-cabinet Shasta Mountain system, the first phase of the 23-cabinet system, has completed its journey from Chippewa Falls in Wisconsin, making its way from Prestwick airport to Edinburgh this morning.   

The arrival of these large crates has, I admit, generated quite a lot of excitement here. Moving these specialist systems and getting the right people here to install them is a logistical challenge at the best of times, but with the necessary Covid-19 restrictions this has been considerably more challenging than usual. We are really grateful to our colleagues at Cray/HPE for all their planning and perseverance! It is a huge step forward to see these systems on site. You will be reassured to know that all necessary safety precautions have been taken to meet Covid-19 guidance and to keep everyone safe.  

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