High performance computing
News and information
9 October 2013
The NERC-Met Office Supercomputer for collaborative research (MONSooN) was upgraded as planned, together with additional hardware provided via BIS
MONSooN now has a total of 90 compute nodes and 2,880 cores with Power 7 processors, to offer an improved service. The second user survey (Feb 2012) showed high user satisfaction (80% of users rated the service as Good or Excellent) and emphasised the benefits to science of having a joint platform for collaborative activities.
Improvements from Phase 1:
- Phase 2 MONSooN has 3x the number of nodes of Phase 1
- the LINPACK performance has risen from 15 to 75 Tflops
- Improved access to the data archive
- to allow automated archiving and significantly higher performance when restoring data from the 15 Pbyte archive
- users are able to retrieve the fields of data they need rather than complete fields - a valuable improvement as we move to higher resolutions
- Dedicated 1Gbit/s low-latency network links to the JASMIN super-data-cluster at RAL which provides high-performance storage and processing servers available for collaboration.
- A 3x increase in fast access storage to 225 TB
- A doubling of the extended storage to 190 TB
Other key features include:
- Connection to the SuperJanet network at 1Gbit/s
- Dedicated UM support to help transfer jobs from the Met Office network to MONSooN
- A post processing platform with a common toolset
- Integration with a shared code repository and UMUI database hosted on the NCAS-CMS PUMA service, also integrated with HECToR
- Lower clock frequency and integral water cooling economise on energy, whilst improving application performance per node
- A 250kW peak solar panel array, installed at the Met Office during 2012, provides on average 10% of the power requirement.
- On a sunny day, MONSooN is fully powered by sunshine!
29 July 2013
EPSRC and NERC have agreed that the next generation academic High Performance Computer System will be procured from Cray.
The new machine, to be called 'ARCHER' (Advanced Research Computing High End Resource), will provide a step change in high-end computing power available to the Councils' academic communities. Further details may be found on the Cray website.
25 October 2012
EPSRC, on behalf of the other Research Councils, is managing the project to procure the next national HPC facility, ARCHER.
Earlier in the year we captured the user hardware requirements for ARCHER and are grateful to all those who completed the user survey and/or attended the user requirements meeting.
We are now capturing the user requirements for the Computational Science & Engineering (CSE) support and service aspects of ARCHER and invite you to complete the survey to share your views - it will only take a few minutes. The deadline for completing the survey is 5 December 2012.
We strongly encourage all with an interest in using a national HPC facility to complete the survey to ensure that your requirements are captured.
1 December 2011
NERC welcomes details announced by the Government today for major capital investment in e-infrastructure. This investment will benefit the NERC community in several ways as e-infrastructure is at the heart of environmental research.
The NERC/Met Office Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme (JWCRP) will benefit from additional investment in Phase 2 of the joint high performance computing (HPC) service MONSooN, from improved network bandwidth and light paths, and from investment in data and storage facilities.
These investments will form the core of a new joint data analysis facility (JASMIN) at the British Atmospheric Data Centre for the handling of the huge volumes of data from Earth system modelling in the UK and overseas.
The investment in the Daresbury Science and innovation Campus is also welcomed. NERC is currently collaborating with the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Met Office on the redevelopment of a Unified Model for weather and climate prediction, so that the model can fully exploit the next generation of supercomputers. This work represents a grand challenge in the fields of both environmental science and computational science, towards which this investment will make a major contribution.
The funding of a new national HPC service, ARCHER, will benefit a broad spectrum NERC research from seismology to ocean circulation modelling.
2 April 2009
The HECToR high performance computing service would like to invite both potential and current users of the service to a London-based town meeting. The purpose of the meeting is:
- To bring HECToR users up-to-date with HECToR Service developments over the first phase of the service
- To make current and potential users aware of changes in the upgrade path for Phase 2 of the service and the implications that this will have for use of the service. HECToR User Town Meeting: Phase 2 Service
12 August 2008
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is a partner in a new IBM supercomputer announced by the Met Office. NERC and Met Office collaborate on new High Performance Computer
14 January 2008
HECToR was officially launched in Edinburgh today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling. HECToR officially launched
1 October 2007
The new HPC service, HECToR is now on-line. The Phase 1 HECToR system includes an array of 60 Cray XT4 cabinets delivering 59 Tflops at peak. In the third quarter of 2008, a Cray BlackWidow vector supercomputer of over 2 Tflops peak will be added. The systems will be connected by a common infrastructure (Rainier) which will also support 576 TB of directly attached storage, rising to 934 TB at the end of the phase. HECToR service now available
16 February 2007
The contracts for the HECToR (High End Computing Terascale Resource) Service were signed on Thursday, 15 February 2007. UOE HPCx Ltd in Partnership with Cray will provide the technical solution and day-to-day management of the Service. The Computational Science & Engineering (CSE) support service will be provided by NAG Ltd. Phase 1a of the system is due to start on 16 October 2007. Contracts signed for new HPC service, HECToR