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Primeur weekly 2019-04-08

Focus

Fortissimo initiative ready to continue the HPC experience for SMEs ...

Quantum computing

Teams to build new algorithms and software tools for emerging quantum systems ...

Focus on Europe

Piz Daint takes on Tier 2 function in Worldwide LHC Computing Grid ...

Doron Prize 2019 goes to Thomas Schulthess ...

ISC 2019 is now open for registration ...

PRACE 18th Call for Proposals welcomes 2 new HPC systems and includes a Pilot Phase with the Fenix federated data infrastructure ...

PRACE SHAPE 9th Call for Applications is open from 1 April 2019 until 31 May 2019 ...

Middleware

The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre joins the OpenMP effort ...

Altair acquires Cambridge Collaborative's SEAM software, expanding solver portfolio ...

Hardware

DDN PartnerLink recognized in CRN's 2019 Partner Program Guide ...

PLDA announces two innovative vDMA engine IP solutions, delivering robust performance and scalability across a PCIe link or AMBA AXI fabric ...

Hyperion Research reports HPC server market beats forecast for full-year 2018 ...

Intel announces broadest product portfolio for moving, storing and processing data ...

Intel driving data-centric world with new 10nm Intel Agilex FPGA family ...

Intel appoints George S. Davis as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer ...

Indiana University's data centre upgrades, two additional designs approved by Board of Trustees ...

Penguin Computing designs now available with new 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors expanding options for data centre, HPC, and AI ...

Applications

New heart valve modelling technique enables customized medical care for patients ...

Supercomputers help supercharge protein assembly ...

Supercomputers aid our understanding of complex brain waves ...

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research launches new call & matchmaking meeting for Energy System Integration ...

West Virginia University revs up computer resources to help move region forward ...

Rocket fuel that's cleaner, safer and still full of energy ...

Getting a big look at tiny particles ...

The Cloud

Atos and Google Cloud inaugurate unique artificial intelligence lab in France ...

Pixeom announces $15 million funding from Intel Capital, National Grid Partners and others for its software defined edge computing platform ...

Piz Daint takes on Tier 2 function in Worldwide LHC Computing Grid


1 Apr 2019 Lugano - In the future, the "Piz Daint" supercomputer will handle part of the analysis of data generated by the experiments conducted at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This new development was enabled by the close collaboration between the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) and the Swiss Institute of Particle Physics (CHIPP). In the past, CSCS relied on the "Phoenix" dedicated cluster for the LHC experiments.

The data collected from experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is fed into a global computing network for data analysis and simulations. Part of this network is the "Phoenix" cluster at CSCS. Until now, the ATLAS, CMS and LHCb particle detectors delivered their data to "Phoenix" for analysis and comparison with the results of previous simulations. The "Piz Daint" supercomputer will now take over this role from Phoenix.

For the first time, the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) will integrate one of the world's most powerful supercomputers - which is available for general research - to handle the functions of what is known as a Tier 2 system. Until now, this role has been handled exclusively by dedicated clusters distributed around the world in the WLCG. Based on their performance and characteristics, the clusters are categorised on a scale ranging from Tier 0 systems - such as those available only at the CERN data centre in Geneva and the Wigner Research Centre for Physics in Budapest - to smaller Tier 3 systems.

CSCS has been operating the "Phoenix" cluster, which accounts for about 3% of the WLCG's capacity, as a Tier 2 system for about 12 years. The fact that "Piz Daint" will now be able to handle the data analysis of one of the world's most data-intensive projects in addition to its daily tasks is thanks to a long-term partnership between CSCS and CHIPP. The project participants have been working on its implementation since 2014.

In addition to the advantages classic supercomputers offer physicists, such as scalability, high performance and efficiency, other properties have taken some getting used to for the high-energy physicists. "The integration of 'Piz Daint' with the high-energy physics data processing environments has been a highly laborious process that started with the integration of a previous generation supercomputer at CSCS", stated Gianfranco Sciacca, who is part of the ATLAS experiment. "The data access patterns and rates of our workflows are not typical of a supercomputer environment. In addition, for some workflows, certain resource requirements exceed what a general-purpose supercomputer typically provides; a lot of tuning therefore needs to be put in place."

It was also a challenge for CSCS: "Such a move away from the status quo, with all five parties - CHIPP, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb and CSCS - sharing the same view, both on conceptual and practical grounds, was probably the biggest challenge that we have had to face in this project", stated Pablo Fernandez, Service and Business Manager at CSCS. Fernandez coordinated a whole range of activities during the project.

Migrating tasks from "Phoenix" to "Piz Daint" took place gradually over two years. Only at the end of 2017, when enough comparative data was available to make an informed decision, did CSCS and CHIPP decide to use "Piz Daint" for future data analysis. "Piz Daint" has been used actively for simulation and data analysis in LHC experiments since April 2018. In April 2019, the transfer will finally be complete and "Phoenix" will be decommissioned. Meanwhile, the project participants have succeeded in testing the externalization of the Tier 0 system onto "Piz Daint" and have provided CERN with direct computing capacity for highly complex data processing. The project participants look back at what they have achieved with a certain degree of awe: "The project was far more complex to manage than any technical limitation or problem we have had so far", stated Miguel Gila, HPC System Engineer at CSCS.

The comparison between "Piz Daint" and "Phoenix" has shown that both systems perform their functions with similar efficiency, but "Piz Daint" is slightly more cost-effective. According to the project participants, however, the CHIPP community will use only the computer nodes consisting of two CPUs for the time being, and not all the full benefits of "Piz Daint". In future, it may be possible to use hybrid computer nodes consisting of one CPU and one GPU to run calculations much more efficiently. A big advantage for the researchers is that they can tap into much more computing power at short notice - at the "push of a button" - if needed.

The current upgrade of the LHC to the High-Luminosity LHC, which will be online from 2025 to 2034 and enable breakthroughs in particle physics, requires up to 50 times more computing power for data analysis and simulations. However, the high energy physicists predict that with the current computing models, a significant shortfall of resources will occur. This will require various software and hardware optimisations. Since HPC systems such as "Piz Daint" already have optimised hardware, the researchers are confident that it will be possible to make savings. They expect the project to serve as a model for WLCG, as it has opened doors, for instance, in terms of new computing models and software optimisation.

More information is available at the CSCS website.
Source: Swiss National Supercomputing Centre - CSCS

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2019-04-08

Focus

Fortissimo initiative ready to continue the HPC experience for SMEs ...

Quantum computing

Teams to build new algorithms and software tools for emerging quantum systems ...

Focus on Europe

Piz Daint takes on Tier 2 function in Worldwide LHC Computing Grid ...

Doron Prize 2019 goes to Thomas Schulthess ...

ISC 2019 is now open for registration ...

PRACE 18th Call for Proposals welcomes 2 new HPC systems and includes a Pilot Phase with the Fenix federated data infrastructure ...

PRACE SHAPE 9th Call for Applications is open from 1 April 2019 until 31 May 2019 ...

Middleware

The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre joins the OpenMP effort ...

Altair acquires Cambridge Collaborative's SEAM software, expanding solver portfolio ...

Hardware

DDN PartnerLink recognized in CRN's 2019 Partner Program Guide ...

PLDA announces two innovative vDMA engine IP solutions, delivering robust performance and scalability across a PCIe link or AMBA AXI fabric ...

Hyperion Research reports HPC server market beats forecast for full-year 2018 ...

Intel announces broadest product portfolio for moving, storing and processing data ...

Intel driving data-centric world with new 10nm Intel Agilex FPGA family ...

Intel appoints George S. Davis as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer ...

Indiana University's data centre upgrades, two additional designs approved by Board of Trustees ...

Penguin Computing designs now available with new 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors expanding options for data centre, HPC, and AI ...

Applications

New heart valve modelling technique enables customized medical care for patients ...

Supercomputers help supercharge protein assembly ...

Supercomputers aid our understanding of complex brain waves ...

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research launches new call & matchmaking meeting for Energy System Integration ...

West Virginia University revs up computer resources to help move region forward ...

Rocket fuel that's cleaner, safer and still full of energy ...

Getting a big look at tiny particles ...

The Cloud

Atos and Google Cloud inaugurate unique artificial intelligence lab in France ...

Pixeom announces $15 million funding from Intel Capital, National Grid Partners and others for its software defined edge computing platform ...