XENON to upgrade CSIRO supercomputer cluster

news The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, has chosen Australian company XENON Systems to provide internationally competitive, customized technology solutions.

XENON, a Melbourne-based high-performance computing solutions provider, will upgrade CSIRO’s GPU cluster based on the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family, enabling it to combine traditional CPUs with more powerful graphics processing units (GPU). XENON’s brand new HPC Cluster solutions, optimised for performance, power, and density has substantial headroom for future upgrades as well.

The new CSIRO GPU HPC Cluster, located in Canberra, Australia, will provide world-class computational and simulation science facilities to its researchers to increase productivity significantly, and help speed up scientific discovery. CSIRO chose XENON because it best met CSIRO’s highly specific technology requirements even as it helped minimise the impact on the environment; remotely managed the system; and extracted the highest performance possible from the scientific and engineering computational technology used.

Dr John Taylor, CSIRO’s head of Computational and Simulation Sciences, who leads CSIRO’s research team to develop new methodologies for analysing and exploiting large and complex data sets and data streams, said: “We’re in the business of turning information into knowledge and quantifying uncertainty to help people make better decisions.”

Believing that the new GPU HPC cluster would help CSIRO scientists perform computations in a single morning (something that used to take weeks), as well as help them perform tasks that were once computationally infeasible, he stated: “The faster we can process data, the faster we can get solutions to market – and that’s in Australia’s best interests. We chose XENON due to a combination of its expertise in delivering the project according to our very specific requirements, and our history of knowing the quality of work the team delivers.”

XENON Systems managing director Dragan Dimitrovici added: “We’re proud to work with one of the world’s leading scientific research organisations and one of the world’s most innovative technology companies to deliver one of Australia’s first Intel Xeon projects and the most advanced GPU technology.” Kamil Gurgen, Intel channel platform manager said he was confident that the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family would deliver leadership performance, energy efficiency and scalability.

About the upgrade: The all-new XENON Nitro G16 3GPU 1U Compute Node is based on the latest Intel architecture and powered by Intel’s new generation E5-2600 series Xeon “Sandy Bridge-EP” 8-core processors. CSIRO’s GPU cluster will move to the new Intel platform architecture, opening space for a variety of latest and forthcoming GPU cards, enhancing a number of important capacities such as:

  • Higher GPU density – with up to 4 GPU cards per 1U of rack space
  • Double I/O bandwidth to up to 8GT/s with the next generation PCIe 3.0 bus technology
  • Up to 8 cores and integrated quad-channel memory controller
  • FDR10 InfiniBand high-speed interconnect solution with high-efficiency data handling and utilising latest “GPUDirect” and “CORE-direct” technologies.

The CSIRO GPU HPC Cluster is made of 134 Compute Nodes powered by 268 Intel Xeon E5-2650 processors (2144 CPU cores) and features 390 NVidia Tesla 2050 GPU cards (174,720 GPU cores). XENON previously worked with CSIRO to deliver the world’s 11th greenest supercomputer in November 2010.

Image credit: Whrelf Siemens, royalty free