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UK university consortium deploys HPC cluster

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The N8 Research Partnership (N8), a consortium of eight universities in the North of England, has deployed a new SGI supercomputer cluster comprising 83 SGI Rackable standard depth (2U) servers with Intel Xeon processors E5-2600 and a total of 5,312 cores.

Located at the University of Leeds, the system was designed, installed and commissioned by SGI’s partner, Esteem Systems, and is one of the largest HPC clusters in the region. It will be used by researchers from all eight partner universities and selected commercial organisations for a variety of compute-intensive tasks in computational fluid dynamics, computational chemistry, physics and biosciences.

‘Through this investment we are aiming to engage a new generation of researchers and industrial partners and equip them with the HPC skills and hardware that they need to commission and deliver world class science,’ said Professor Chris Taylor, principle investigator for the N8 HPC project. ‘The close working relationship with Esteem and SGI, together with their early involvement has laid a solid foundation for these goals, making it possible to achieve delivery against the extremely tight funding application and deployment schedules.’

Research funding for the project in the amount of £3.25 million was secured from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) by Esteem Systems and N8’s bid leaders, The University of Manchester and the University of Leeds. The funding was available as part of the EPSRC’s strategic investment in e-Infrastructure for research.