HPC @ Uni.lu

High Performance Computing in Luxembourg

Happy New Year 2020!

2019 is coming to its end and was quite fruitful.

On behalf of the full Uni.lu HPC Team, we wish you a Happy New Year 2020!

You will find below the main announcements summarizing the past year activities and the incoming milestones for 2020.

Uni.lu HPC Message of the Year TL;DR

  • The HPC team expertise is recognized and will serve as a cornerstone of the UL digital strategy. A new facility for data and HPC should help bridging Cloud and HPC efforts in this context to offer a cutting-edge research infrastructure to Luxembourg public research. The aim is also to serve as edge access to the upcoming MeluXina supercomputer, the new Luxembourg system to be deployed in the EuroHPC context in Bissen and managed by the LuxProvide company.

  • After 8 (resp. 12) years of good & faithful service, the gaia and chaos clusters have reached end of life and were decommissioned. More than 6.2 million jobs were processed during that time on these systems, cumulating 13,8 MILLENIUM of CPU Time usage to sustain University of Luxembourg’s research. The migration to the newer iris cluster initiated earlier in 2019 was thus completed.

  • To compensate for the loss of a significant number of computing nodes from the decommissioning process, we have released a public tender (RFP 190027) aiming at acquiring a new High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster (tentative name: aion) relying on highly efficient Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC) equipment that will complement and integrate with the existing flagship system iris currently installed in the premises of the Belval Centre De Calcul (CDC). This tender was attributed to Atos.
    • the new aion supercomputer (based on Bull Sequana XH2000 hardware), will be installed in March-April 2020 in a dedicated server room designed to sustain DLC equipment. It will give to researchers an additional theoretical peak performance of 1.7 Petaflops which will complement the existing cluster iris and its 1.1 Petaflops.
    • aion will be equipped with AMD EPYC processors (7H12, 64cores @ 2.6GHz) and Mellanox InfiniBand HDR technology, connected to the existing DDN storage environment extended by 1.572 TiB capacity (excl. metadata)
  • The Uni.lu HPC team has evolved. We welcomed several new members:
    • Dr. Frederic Pinel which coordinates since March the efforts in the new NVidia joint AI lab of Luxembourg and provide advanced HPC/research support on GPU/AI workflows.
    • Dr. Emmanuel Kieffer. Expert in Bi-level optimization and scalable science with Python, he joined us in May as Postdoc and will provide in particular advanced HPC and research support to the HPC community.
    • Ezhilmathi Krishnasamy (or Mathi for short) which arrived in September to coordinate the UL efforts within the H2020 PRACE-6IP project.
    • In parallel, Clément Parisot has accepted a new challenge in Nancy starting Sept. 1st, 2019 and left the team.

Incoming milestones

  • New positions will be opened within the HPC Team
  • Starting march-april 2020, the new aion system will be deployed for a production release expected in May 2020.
  • The next edition of the UL HPC School is scheduled in June, 2020 and will be managed by the ULCC. We might organize a shorten version for newcomers in the mean time – precise dates to be given in due time.
  • The Biocore team (and in particular Sarah Peter) has invested a significant time in analysing its GDPR compliance and Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA). We are working all together on extending this toward the Uni.lu HPC, you will know more of the outcomes of this analysis in 2020.
  • The migration of the HPC Ticketing service toward Service Now is also engaged and should be effective early 2020.

At the national level, the new MeluXina system is expected to be deployed end 2020 for a production release scheduled early 2021. It will come coupled with an HPC Competence Center in which the University is involved. More details will come in due time.

We wish you again a Happy Computing within the new year 2020.

The University of Luxembourg HPC Team i.e.

  • Prof. Pascal Bouvry, Senior advisor for the president as regards the HPC strategy, Leader of PCO Group, Head Uni.lu HPC
  • Dr. Sebastien Varrette, Research Scientist, Deputy head Uni.lu HPC
  • Valentin Plugaru, R&D Specialist, Senior HPC Architect
  • Sarah Peter, R&D Specialist, HPC/LCSB Support Liaison and LCSB BioCore (sysadmins manager)
  • Hyacinthe Cartiaux, HPC System administrator, and
  • Dr. Frederic Pinel, Research Scientist, Coordinator NVidia Joint AI Lab
  • Dr. Emmanuel Kieffer, Postdoctoral Researcher,
  • Dr. Ezhilmathi Krishnasamy Postdoctoral Researcher, Coordinator H2020 PRACE-6IP
  • Clément Parisot, (now left) HPC System administrator