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University of Luxembourg strengthens its computing capacities

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Published on Friday, 10 January 2020

In May 2020, the University will give a boost to its research based on intensive computing and "big data" analysis. The University has just signed a four-year contract with Atos, an international leader in digital transformation, to supply its BullSequana XH2000 supercomputer.

From left: behind: Pascal Barbier (SIU), Sebastien Lassere (SIU), Ezhilmathi Krishnasamy (HPC), Nuno Silva (Atos), Sandra Loerzer (Atos), Aldert Groenenberg (Atos), Sarah Peter (LCSB, HPC), Valentin Plugaru (HPC), Hyacinthe Cartiaux (HPC), Dr. Emmanuel Kieffer (HPC) & in front: Jean-Luc Bailly (SIU), Dr. Fréderic Pinel (HPC), Dr. Sébastien Varrette (HPC), Evert Zanting (Atos)

With the acquisition of the supercomputer, the University of Luxembourg offers a state-of-the-art tool to its researchers and European partners. The "AION" supercomputer will speed up research based on intensive computing and large-scale "big data" analysis. This concerns in particular particle physics, materials science, chemistry, earth sciences and astrophysics, cryptology or artificial intelligence, but also digital history, neuropsychology and economic simulations.

Since 2006, the University has continuously invested in its High Performance Computing (HPC) equipment and services. The HPC platform is managed by a team of experts under the direction of Prof. Pascal Bouvry and Dr. Sébastien Varrette.

"Modern research requires significant computing power and generates large amounts of data – therefore we needed a HPC solution which responds to our growing need for increased computing capacity in order to increase our research capabilities and enable us to go beyond the limits of traditional simulation," said Dr. Sébastien Varrette.

By combining its current system (Dell) and the BullSequana XH2000, the University's HPC reaches a computing capacity of 2.8 PetaFlops and a shared storage capacity of 10 PetaBytes.

"One of the key reasons Atos was selected for this contract was due to our BullSequana XH2000’s highly-efficient water-cooled Direct Liquid Cooling (DLC) solution, which ensures optimum energy-efficiency," said Antoine Kerrinckx, CEO Belgium and Luxembourg at Atos.

"With the release of the AION system, the global capacity of the HPC infrastructure provided within the University will be increased both in terms of computing (totaling 2.8 PetaFlops with both systems) and shared storage (up to 10 PetaBytes).  This consolidates the University’s ambition to offer a cutting-edge research infrastructure to Luxembourg public research and serves as edge access to the upcoming Luxembourg MeluXina supercomputer in the EURO-HPC context, "concludes Sebastien Varrette.

Atos "AION" supercomputer is scheduled to go live in May 2020.

Pictures © Université du Luxembourg