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Penguin Computing to deliver HPC system to ICHEC

Penguin Computing, a provider of high-performance computing (HPC), artificial intelligence (AI), enterprise data centre and cloud solutions, has announced that it will deliver the new national supercomputer to the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway.

Funded by the Science Foundation Ireland, the new system will replace the Fionn supercomputer installed in 2013.  It will be part of Ireland’s National High Performance Computing Service and provide Irish researchers with HPC power to address some of the toughest challenges in science and society. 

The new ICHEC supercomputer will be accessible via the cloud to researchers across Ireland, thanks to the inclusion of Penguin Computing Scyld Cloud Manager management software and an HPC cloud user interface layer based on Penguin Computing On-Demand (POD), the Penguin Computing bare metal Cloud platform.

This will allow Irish researchers to run their projects without needing to understand the intricacies of HPC performance and tuning, increasing the potential user population that can benefit from using traditional HPC techniques, as well as AI and machine learning.

‘Because we are investing in critical infrastructure to ensure Ireland can compete internationally in key domains such as precision medicine, earth observation and artificial intelligence, we needed to work with HPC experts like Penguin Computing,’ said ICHEC Director Professor JC Desplat.

‘With 11 supercomputers in the Top500 list and a bare metal HPC Cloud service since 2009, we knew we could rely on Penguin Computing’s HPC expertise to address our needs in an innovative way,’ added Desplat.

‘Penguin Computing was cognizant of the careful planning and installation requirements for performing an in-place swap of our existing infrastructure with a system five times more powerful. Additionally, the use of Penguin Computing’s innovative cloud software stack will enable easy and secure access for researchers across Ireland.”

‘At Penguin Computing we push the boundaries of performance and efficiency to help customers like ICHEC tackle their most challenging computing problems,’ said Tom Coull, president and CEO of Penguin Computing. ‘In response to increased global demand for our AI, HPC, and data centre solutions, Penguin Computing has expanded its presence in Europe over the last 12 months to better serve customers. We are honoured that ICHEC put their trust in Penguin Computing to provide Ireland with its national supercomputer and we look forward to meeting the needs of their researchers across Ireland.”

As part of its European expansion, Penguin Computing has opened a corporate office in London with UK-based Rod McAllister as EMEA Sales Director. To ensure fast, thorough support to European customers, Penguin Computing is expanding around-the-clock technical hardware support and managed services as well as replacement parts depots in the UK, Netherlands and Germany.

The ICHEC supercomputer is comprised of 336 high performance servers with 13,440 Intel-based central processing unit (CPU) cores and 64 terabytes of general purpose memory. For specialised computing, the new system includes 6 large memory nodes with 1.5 terabytes of memory per server, plus 32 accelerator nodes divided between Intel Xeon Phi and NVIDIA P100 graphics processing units (GPUs). These are connected by Intel 100Gbit/s Omnipath technology and DataDirect Networks provide 1 petabyte of high performance storage over a parallel file system.


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