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At the heart of HPC Midlands is a 3,008 core supercomputing cluster, Hera, designed by Bull Information Services and capable of achieving performance of 48teraflops. In 2013 Hera’s architecture won the Future is Here competition by the Technology Strategy Board and Design Museum for providing “a glimpse of the future, today” into the new industrial revolution of computer based modelling and simulation.
All of Hera’s compute power comes from Intel Sandy Bridge E5-2650 CPUs divided into 188 compute nodes. Each node contains 16 2.0GHz cores with 120GB SSD and memory on 140 nodes of 64GB RAM (4GB/core) and 48 nodes of 128GB RAM (8GB/core).
Sandy Bridge CPUs are capable of enhanced scalability allowing our clients to use all 3,008 cores as easily as they would use 16 cores.
The nodes are divided into two 18 blade chassis with a full non-blocking 4x QDR Infiniband interconnect developed by Mellanox Technologies. The chassis connect via a 36-port switch plugged directly to each node enabling combined job sizes up to the limit of cores with full homogeneity. With a peak capacity of 32Gbps the interconnect creates high performance and low latency for MPI traffic and data transfer to and from storage.
Storage is provided via Lustre, an advanced system which satisfies a network-oriented cluster requiring file systems satisfying big data storage requirements, secure accounts for individual users and sharing requirements of workgroups. HPC Midlands provides no caps to clients usage on the 120TB of disk space provided on Hera.
RedHat Linux compatible.
Jobs are submitted to the resource scheduler Slurm via an SSH connection.
The system allocates exclusive nodes of 16 cores guaranteeing data security. Priorities are built into the scheduler to give industry clients the most immediate access over all other pending jobs regardless of submission time. In addition a premium service level can be chosen guaranteeing a job starting within 24hrs of submission.
As a tenant of the Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park HPC Midlands is connected to the Janet research and education e-infrastructure network. The connection provides 40Gb/s bandwidth for the fastest available I/O data transfer of any network in the UK. Additionally HPC Midlands has helped to support industry clients in Janet Reach, an initiative to provide industry connections to the Janet network.